Solstice Report: Toward a Season of Cultural Growth

Spring2018 website

LET US CULTIVATE DILIGENTLY THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE STATE!

The first half of this year has witnessed great cultural and administrative achievements. In January, a law was passed regulating the system by which applicants for citizenship can become citizens, a law which thoroughly renewed the application system and gave power to the Sôgmô to approve and reject applicants on civil grounds. In February, the Robes of State worn by því during important ceremonial occasions were replaced, putting aside the robes which have been used for state occasions since the country’s birth in 2009. In March, Sandus began a cultural laureate program to recognise important artists and musicians who have significantly affected and built up our country. Since April, we have had a new consort and, in that month, the first baronetcy was enfeoffed and entitled to Adam Camillus von Friedeck, Baronet of Eliot. In May, the Sôgmô held a lavish five course banquet to celebrate the ninth anniversary of Sandus—before the Council voted to approve the law regulating þess succession before the end of the month. In June, despite the relative quiet, news has been shared that the Sôgmô is working on a project of laconic life advice slogans to cover all aspects of home affairs; in addition, the Sanôba Consort became a gentleman in the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks.

The coming summer will be a momentous occasion for Sandus and the construction of our infrastructure and culture. In July, the Sôgmô travels to Paris to take part in the 2018 OMF Summit in Vincennes, the first time Sandus will take part in exclusively French-speaking micronational diplomacy in person. In August, the Sanôba Consort will visit Quercus Candida for the first time as a Sandum citizen and as the Sôgmô’s partner, just in time for the Vinalia and for the festivals of Consus and Ops. In September, the Sôgmô will take part in a training on restorative justice in anticipation of becoming a university juror, a concept of justice which may take a larger role in Sandus’s planned judicial and philosophical system over which the Central People’s Government has been mulling for the past season and more.

The coming season will be one of deeper thought given to cultural institutions of our country, as well. Through habitual practice, the Sôgmô has made clear that the limoncello season in Sandus shall last between the two Vinalias, that is, from the end of April to the end of August. Later in the summer, það also will release the book of homespun life advice, entitled the Sandum Oeconomic Ethic, and a book of popular recipes from each Sandum domus. This summer’s activity also includes the medium-term projects and plans, like the log of Annual Media announcements, the reform of the Council, and the language initiative.

All of these will form the basis of improving the infrastructure of the State of Sandus.

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Le Sôgmô ira à Vincennes le 19 juin en anticipation du sommet de la MicroFrancophonie.

 

Charity Taxes — New Infrastructure for Easy Declaration
For the first time, Sandum charity taxes will now be filed by an online form, instead of the Sôgmô contacting individual citizens. The bilingual form in both English and French is intended to speed along the process for the government in asking for information about charity taxes and for citizens in reporting charity taxes. In addition, for the first time, the form asks respondents if they have given any belongings away to charity.

Sandum Charity Taxes Summer Solstice 2018.PNG

At the time of writing, only six responses have been submitted and already another record has been broken—a common theme of Sandum charity taxes today. Since the Spring Equinox, Sandum citizens have donated $2,174.10 USD to charitable organisations like the ACLU, LGBTQ+ advocacy and rights organisations, suicide helplines, ecological organisations, political parties, religious institutions, academic and professional organisations, and private individuals. This is up from the Winter’s $1,095.18. The previous record was $1,462.41 in Summer 2017.

Sandum citizens have donated clothes and books to charitable organisations this season.

Since the Spring Equinox, Sandum citizens have volunteered a total of 100 hours, down from the Winter’s declared hours of 794 hours and the Autumn’s 190.

In addition, the new charity tax form asked for some information about citizens’ income, asking whether or not citizens earned a living wage in the previous year. A living wage is defined as a basic income that covers basic necessities, such as housing and food. Out of those who answered, two replied that they were uncertain. Of those who were certain, 50% said that they did have a living wage, while the other half said that they did not.

 

Sôgmô to Submit New Budget for 2018-2019
The Sôgmô has proposed a budget for the new budgetary year, to be submitted to the Commission for the Command Economy (CCE), which will see a potential rise in spending for the State of Sandus in the lead up to the country’s tenth anniversary. The budget will cover at least $2,000 USD worth of projected expenses, in addition to another $1,000 in discretionary spending.

Projected Spending:

Sandus.org $40
Salaries $100
Work Expenses $360
Cultural Expenses $500
10th Creation Celebration $1,000

Discretionary Spending:

Special Philia Fund $200
Matter Realist Fund $200
Trans*ition Policy $100
Health Reimbursement Policy $100
Flexible Spending $400

Projected as a part of the budget’s spending over the next year includes work expenses for Sandus’s cooperatives, cultural expenses covering a variety of different holidays, and a large celebration for the 10th anniversary of the Creation of Sandus next year. That celebration’s budget will include money for a travel and accommodation stipends, events, decorations, memorabilia, and other expenses. Discretionary spending covers costs related to cultural development, gender transitioning, emergency healthcare, and miscellaneous expenses deemed necessary for the State and Sandum Socialism.

 

State Planning: Medium-Term Projects for the Summer
The Central People’s Government will begin work this summer on a variety of stated projects announced on Sandus.org earlier in the month. Of the most significant importance is the initiative by Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho to reform the Council, followed by the Sôgmô’s initiative to present a theoretical guideline for a philosophical and judicial branch in Sandum government. Following these, some important projects include flags for citizens of Sandus paid for by the Philia Fund, a pamphlet of information on every Sandum holiday by month, and bestowals of nobility on the remaining deserving recipients. Finally, the Central People’s Government is looking for journalists for Veritum Sandus as well as looking to establish a long-term project to encourage citizens to learn Sandus’s three official languages: English, French, and Latin.

 

AthenaPronoea Emblem

ἉΜΗΟΙΔΑΟΥΔΕΟΙΟΜΑΙΕΙΔΕΝΑΙ
“I do not think to know that which I do not know.”
(Plato Apology 21d)

Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea: Recognising Our Intellectualism
One Sandum citizen recently graduated from university with a Bachelor’s degree of Arts in English Literature with Honours, two minors in Technology Entrepreneurship and in Religious Studies, a certificate in entrepreneurship, and she received a citation of honour in entrepreneurship and innovation. During her time in undergraduate studies, she completed an honours thesis in her department, entitled “Children of God: Understanding Marilynne Robinson’s Home as a Mode of Religious Literature.”

She was a copy editor for a creative writing periodical at her university, as well as a research assistant for the associate director of the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies. She served for two and a half years as an editor of a women’s college periodical and as a coordinator for Greek Life at her university. Fitting for her role in Sandus as the bishop of the Εκκλησία, she was an intern at her church’s university chaplaincy for three years, from 2015 until recently when she graduated, and administered the chaplaincy and oversaw preparations for an ecumenical memorial service for the Pulse shooting massacre in June 2016. Given her background in the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), she is an inquirer in the National Capital Presbytery seeking candidacy, as well as recently being elected as member at-large of the PCUSA’s Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns.

Order of Athena Pronoea - MΑθΠ

PLAUDAMUS IGITUR SISENNAM MELVILLE MΑθΠ

Let us applaud, therefore, Sisenna Melville MΑθΠ, who has been promoted to the rank of Member of the Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea.

 

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Fides in Patria
“There is trust in our fatherland.”

Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus: Update on Addressing the Backlog
The Sôgmô has begun to take steps to address the backlog of recipients of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus. A cache of new medals has been purchased, in addition to the appropriate paper and mailing pouches for sending out the medal and certificate to recipients who have never received their medal. These materials will be used to address the historical problem, where recipients and members of the order have never received their appropriate medal entitled to them by the constitution of the order.

Council approves Law governing Sôgmô’s Succession

The Council has unanimously approved the bill regulating the Sôgmô’s succession, a bill which was submitted by því earlier this session. The law will now regulate the constitutional procedure by which the position of Sôgmô of the State of Sandus succeeds following the death of a reigning monarch. Until now, the Sôgmô’s succession has been a matter of þess private last will and testament; it is now a matter of public law.

This new law establishes:

  • the process of electing an heir
  • a body of five people, the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, who will create a list of candidates
  • that the Party will select two candidates
  • that the Winter Solstice elections will elect the heir
  • the broad criteria by which candidates will be sought and judged, paying attention to a candidate’s compatibility with the Sandum Philosophy, their political ideology, their character and good faith, and their view on the general administrative responsibilities of the Sôgmô, in addition to others
  • the Office of Heir Elected, as well as the respective functions and powers of that office
  • legatees for cooperatives, authorities and institutions, and honorary orders

Read the new law here.

The most important function of the new law is that it regulates the procedure by which a new heir is elected in the State of Sandus. An heir is elected for a period of five years, though that term can be indefinitely prorogued by the Sôgmô. Every five years, in the December of a year ending in 3 or 8, a new Caucus of Quinque Interreges (five rulers between a king) is established to create a list of desireable candidates who fit the criteria which the caucus and the law specify. By November, the caucus creates a short list of three to five candidates, which will be made public and with appropriate commentary. In November, the Party Congress will convene and will select two candidates who will be the candidates of a general election in December, during the Winter Solstice elections. The first election of an heir is scheduled for 2019, meaning the caucus will meet for the first time in December of this year.

The caucus looks to the following criteria to determine an heir:

  • “The sôgmô-elect must adhere to the Sandum philosophy, must make a statement of faith in the basis of the Sandum philosophy, and must strive to continue to develop the philosophy based on its established foundations; the sôgmô-elect must swear or affirm that það will govern with a view recognising the suffering of this world and the role of a benevolent government, such as þess, to overcome this suffering for the Sandum people and nation and to work within the socialist principles of the State of Sandus and of the Citizens’ Party.”
  • “The sôgmô-elect must decide whether or not to take up the office of Sacer Flamen of the Collegium Sacerdotium. If the sôgmô-elect will take up the office, then það must perform the Tibetan Buddhist and Roman polytheist rites associated with the office; if not, then the triumviri interreges must find a new Sacer Flamen who is a cultor religionis Romanae and a Tibetan Buddhist and who is willing to become a civis citizen of the State of Sandus.”
  • “The sôgmô-elect must become a member of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus and must be a supporter of socialism yet also with a view toward moderation.”
  • “The sôgmô-elect will swear the oath of citizenship and of the office of sôgmô in a simple, candid coronation ceremony, decked in white and assuming the robes of office. The preparations for the ceremony will be þinna [theirs].”
  • “The sôgmô-elect will receive the necessary information to control the administrative functions of the State of Sandus, its websites and public media, et cetera.”

In addition, the caucus considers the candidates’ characters and qualifications for the position.

After an heir is elected, they will occupy a new office: the Office of the Heir Elected. This office has no constitutional powers, except to act as the ceremonial representative of the Sôgmô. The reigning Sôgmô may bestow extraordinary powers on the heir during þess old age and during expedient times. The heir elect may also receive other duties and powers bestowed upon them by the Sôgmô’s will. An heir is automatically eligible for a knighthood, though the heir elect ought to be made the baron or baroness of a substantively entitled barony, such as how the Principality of Wales or the Dauphiny of Viennois are used.

Since the heir is an elected office with a term limit of five years, Sandus could potentially in the future have an heir who will no longer be heir. In the case of heirs sine officio, as the law calls them, they are still entitled to a knighthood, but not to the substantively entitled barony. Disgraced heirs, however, will receive nothing.

In the case of disgraced heirs, the Sôgmô may remove the heir or the heir may be impeached by the Council, and heirs may resign. At times during vacancies of the office of the heir elected, the Sôgmô may appoint a new heir with the approval and consensus of the Party Secretary and the Facilitator of the Council. The appointment must be confirmed by the next appropriate Winter Solstice election.

The law also deals with heirs who are unwilling to take up certain managerial positions the Sôgmô currently has in Sandus, such as over cooperatives, authorities and institutions, and honorific orders. In those cases, the law provides for various arrangements for “legatees,” or people who are delegated to take up the managerial position on the event of a sôgmô’s death. Economic cooperatives will elect a new manager, while non-economic ones can either choose an election procedure or the caucus can elect a new manager. In the case of so-called “royal cooperatives,” a future sôgmô may reclaim the position. The only exception is that honorific orders, like the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, must have their sovereign taken up by the heir elect.

Sôgmô’s Oration on Sandus’s Ninth Anniversary

the Creation

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola will give an oration to gathered friends and colleagues on the occasion of the ninth anniversary since the creation of Sandus in the evening of 26 May 2009. Nine years later, the Sôgmô will address both the convened guests and citizens throughout the country, both online and in person.

The speech progresses from topics related to early or juvenile micronationalism to subjects like the Sandum constitution, Sandus’s philosophy, and our independent culture.

Read the oration here, or below.

Chers collègues, messieurs-dames, citoyens, et chers camarades,

On this ninth anniversary of the creation of Sandus as a micronation, one might rightfully look back and reflect upon the history of a small but grand polity such as ours. Our history, our culture, and our politics—as eclectic as they might be—are grounded in a perspective and world view which looks at reality—the reality around us, in our lives, and in the world as a whole. We are a micronation which has seen its share of typical micronational eccentricity—that is, such as our use and insistence on proper titles, our lofty appellations and decorous garb, and our grand cultural and political aspirations or expressions (such as this dinner). But, for us, this eccentricity has been tempered through the years by an insistence on a philosophy, on political theories, and on a politic and culture which is immensely personal both to me and to our fellow citizens.

For those who are what could be called “career micronationalists,” they will at once understand the significance of this anniversary. They could recall the micronations which were flourishing at the time of their birth and foray into the micronational world—I too could recall micronations like Vikesland or St.Charlie, or intermicronational organisations like the Organisation of Active Micronations in which inactive and defunct micronations like A1 or Yabloko once found their mastery. These “career micronationalists” would know that their micronations, which once promised some fun and enjoyment as an eclectic hobby, eventually became a burdensome project with “duties” and “responsibilities,” with work to do, and with actually having to think deeply and extensively about the complexities of legislation and rights, about public policy and social need, or about international relations and diplomacy. Many slink away from this duty, while others (and here I might immoderately be thinking of us) excel and rise to the challenge, even at a young age.

And we have excelled. Our current constitution is the historical product of two years of national soul-searching even on a small scale. It is two years of pondering about political regimes, culture, and social responsibility. It is seven years of working under our current constitution, evolving slowly from a monarchy to our current republic—countless hours of thinking and debating—complete with all the branches of government that Polybius or Walter Bagehot might advise.

But on a personal and ideological level, our micronation demonstrates a national philosophy which, I believe, is really everyone’s philosophy. We believe that every person in this world, that we, suffer in life; that this suffering is the result of desire, anger, ignorance, pride, and envy; but that we can stop this suffering by living a life in accordance with a moral livelihood, such as the one we cultivate here in our tiny country. Though we are few and far apart, we individually strive to live up to the social element in our philosophy, believing that we are our neighbour’s keeper, that we can and do have the means of resistance against suffering, and that compassion—above all else—is the key to alleviating suffering for ourselves and for others. These two categories are what we call, in Sandus, the Sandum Ideal: that we should cultivate an upright and moral way of life, that we should educate ourselves with a correct but critical world view, and that we should foster right intention for ourselves and for others as we face the world. We try to do this respectfully and without error, though—being human—we do sometimes err.

But lastly, we strive and hope for a free and fair society. We believe that the world around us should be open to diversity, that it should be pluralistic and equitable, and that it should be welcoming and free of judgement. We believe in the universal rights of people to dignity, to freedom from violence, and to the right to housing, food, healthcare, education, and a job. We believe in and exercise our political, social, and cultural rights to such things as free expression, privacy, and the inviolability of the home. Finally, but by no means an end of the list (for I could go on), we believe in popular sovereignty and—this will not be surprising to you all—we believe in self-determination for ourselves and for other nations.

In our country, we try to live up to this philosophy through a pragmatic and realistic spirit. We observe ourselves and our surroundings, seeing what basic things we can do to improve our lot in life. But we also seek and staunchly observe our independence and sovereignty as well as any micronation can. Like any nation, our self-help regime tempers a fiery, laconic spirit—a Spartan ethos that seeks to keep us free of warring sides and ardently independent, and we even replicate this political stance in our private lives. That is the extent to which our micronation is so engrained in our individual ways and in our own psyches. But, at the same time, we are open to commerce with others and we enterprise to form peaceful bonds with each other and with others across distinctions and differences of every sort.

Of course we are small and do not have a large impact, but this micronation has deeply shaped personal aspects of my life—and I know it has done the same to others in their own way. In a pluralistic and even multilingual community like ours, Sandus has changed me to take nothing for granted, to question everything, to permit everything.

Et, maintenant en français, si la raison pour que je me suis devenu francophone et pour que j’étudie l’histoire et la sociologie et la science politique et pour que je poursuis mon doctorat en histoire ancienne, si elle est appropriée pour une micronation, pour la nôtre, il faut continuer. Quand j’irai en France, à Paris, ce juillet, je vais représenter un pays qui n’a été pas né francophone, mais j’en vais représenter un qui est devenu francophone en suivant son accorde. Et voilà, en fin, dans le soir d’une journée en mai victorieux (comment on connaît ce mois en Sandus), c’est la force sande, la force d’autodétermination, la force d’un pays où chacun sait ce qu’il veut et ce qu’il fait. La force, elle est proche à celle d’un dieu ou de la mère terre.
[Translation: And, now, in French, if the reason for which I have become a speaker of French, and for which I study history, sociology, and political science, and for which I am pursuing my doctorate in Ancient History, if that reason is appropriate for a micronation, for ours, we must continue. When I will go to France, to Paris, this July, I will represent a country which was not born French-speaking, but I will go representing one which has become francophone by following its own accord. And, look, in the end, in the evening of a day in Victorious May (how we know this month in Sandus), this is the Sandum power, the power of self-determination, the power of a country where “each person knows what they want and what they are doing.” This force, she is near to that of a god or of mother earth.]

Nunc in lingua Latina. Plaudamus igitur civitatem nostram, cui laboramus. Vexillo patriae nostrae, ubi quisque quid velit atque faciat noscit, credimus passionem nostram finiendam esse. Potentia civilis et dignitas nobilis et fides Sande nos cives amplificent atque civitatem nostram. In novem anno genii publici, ego, Gaius Soergel Publicola, Sôgmô Sande, haec verba similia quae Cato in libro De Agri Cultura scripsit, quibus hoc festum « suovetaurilia » cognoscimus, dicam:
Minerva mater, te precor et quaero uti sis volens propitius mihi et familiaribus et comitibus civibus, cuius re ergo civitatem nostram et fundum meum suovetaurilia circumagi iussi; uti tu morbos visos invisosque, viduertatem vastitudinemque, calamitates intemperiasque prohibeas defendas averruncesque; harumce rerum ergo, domo mei atque civitati Sande, sicut dixi, o Minerva mater, macte hisce suovetaurilibus immolatis esto.
[Translation: Now in Latin. Let us applaud, therefore, our State for which we work. We trust in the flag of our homeland, where each person knows what they want and are doing, that our suffering will be limited. May the power of citizens, our noble dignity, and our faith in Sandus increase us citizens and our State. In the ninth year of our Public Genius, I, Gaius Soergel Publicola, Sôgmô of Sandus, will say these words, similar to those which Cato wrote in his book On Agriculture, from which we know that this feast is a “suovetaurilia”:
Minerva the Mother, I pray and beseech you so that you willingly may be propitious to me, to my familiars, and to comrade citizens, because of which matter therefore I have ordered this suovetaurilia to be led around our State and my estate; so that you may prohibit, defend against, and ward off diseases seen and unseen, sterility and destruction, calamities and intemperate weather; therefore, because of these here things, for my home and for the State of Sandus, as I said, O Minerva the Mother, so mote it be blessed with these here lamb, pork, and beef offerings which have been sacrificed.]

Let us eat. Bon appétit.

Habemus Consortem: We have a consort!

The Office of the Sôgmô has announced that the Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola has a new Sanôba Consort, Oliver Armstrong. Both partners are long-time friends for nearly eight years already. They met through mutual micronational connections and he recently visited það in Quercus Candida, the capital of Sandus, last month, the palace confirmed.

Sanôba Consort Oliver.jpg

the new Sandum Sanôba Consort Oliver Armstrong

The new consort is a university student studying topics ranging from religious studies to photography and journalism. His interests include plants, art, and lobsters.

Oliver Armstrong will complete and return an application for Sandum citizenship later this evening. This marks the first time a consort does not automatically become a Sandum citizen because of new laws and conventions since the last royal partner became consort.

According to Sandum tradition, the office and status of Sanôba Consort exists as long as the Sôgmô is in a committed relationship, regardless of marriage. While it is not a constitutional office, the office has traditionally existed since the early days of Sandus and even predates the State of Sandus, but it has remained vacant for the past two years now. Some consorts have taken an active role in Sandus in the past. On Sandum Independence Day in 2015, the last Sanôba Consort attended a state visit between the Sôgmô and former Kumanoese leader Hatsu Ryuho.

Under the sagamorial decree on the Sandum nobility, the current consort is entitled to the status and noble rank of a baron. It is unclear whether or not His Lordship will be granted a barony.

Sôgmô establishes Laureate cultural program

The Honourable Sôgmô has established a program to recognise and celebrate individuals and their cultural work relevant to the State of Sandus. Since 2010, Sandus has had one “national musician,” Enya, but this new project creates a new democratic process in Sandus to recognise even more significant people for their relevant cultural work. Recipients of this program will receive their own title (e.g., “national musician,” “national activist,” etc.) and will be entitled to receive the circle of the honour.

Nominate important individuals here.

Laureate Circle Template

The circle of the laureate honour is comprised of Sandum national colours and the top prizewinning colours, silver and gold.

The motto of the honour is taken from the opening line of Hesiod’s Works and Days, which says “May you come sing, Muses from Pieria, to give honour” (“Μοῦσαι Πιερίηθεν ἀοιδῇσιν κλείουσαι δεῦτε”). The title on the bottom of the circle says “To the Crowned of the Homeland.”

The program operates by accepting nominations from other Sandum citizens. Once a nomination has been received, it heads to the Council where it can be debated. After it has been approved, the Sôgmô may then bestow the honour in þess role as fount of honour in Sandus.

The nomination form asks for a variety of information, such as the nominee’s background and the medium of their cultural work. This broad question is intended to allow for a breadth of recipients, from “national musician” or “national artist” to “national activist” or “national theologian,” and so on.

Moreover, the form asks about the social and historical context of the nominee: was the nominee emblematic of “high” or “folk/pop” culture, and in whose context are these distinctions drawn? For example, one might compare our national musician Enya, who began as a popular culture artist in the New Age movement beginning in the 1980s but whose work has transcended class distinctions to become relatively higher in status. Or, one might use someone like Jean-Baptiste Lully, the Sôgmô’s favourite baroque composer, who was and is of a “high culture” context. The distinction for drawing these two questions is to ensure relative social equity in Sandus between dominant “Western” and unprivileged cultural figures, such as between Lully to Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Finally, citizens are asked to compare nominee’s work, background, and impact to the Sandum Philosophy. This open-ended question seeks to justify the individual as a national cultural figure and their reception as a “laureate” figure in Sandus by considering what is “Sandum” about individuals who are otherwise not Sandum citizens, politically or culturally.

Sôgmô adopts new Regal State Robes

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola has received new robes of office for the first time since the creation of Sandus. The old, more simple sheet of fabric will be retired and in its place the Sôgmô will wear new, specifically-purposed robes.

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Since June 2009, the Sôgmô has always worn blue robes to important ceremonial and state occasions. As Grand Lama of the Grand Lamate of Sandefreistikhan, as Sandus was known at the time, það took up the robes early on in þess reign which lasted from May to July 2009, before becoming the Speaker of the People’s State of Sandus (the leader of that regime). Over more than five regime changes from 2009 to 2011, það donned the robes during important state and ceremonial occasions. Finally, on 13 April 2011, the former robes became the regalia for the newly-formed State of Sandus.

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The Sôgmô with the Sanôba Father at þess university graduation.

In 2017, new robes were added to the official regalia of the State of Sandus, which now include the Sôgmô’s graduation robes.

S8gm8 portrait new robes

A portrait of the Sôgmô wearing the new robes.

Today, the day after Losar or the Tibetan New Year and during the Chötrul Düchen holiday, the Sôgmô has formally retired the old robes and has announced that new official Regal State Robes will be used in their stead. The new robes are a darker blue than the previous robes, recalling the blue of the State Flag, and reflect the solemn role and purpose of the Sôgmô’s office established since before the current constitution.

The tradition of the robes dates to Sandefreistikhan, in Sandus’s early history, when the Lama of Sandus was expected to reflect the moral outlook and solemn duty of members of the Buddhist sangha. This tradition and this idea that the leader of the nation is a morally upright and intellectual scholar, like many Buddhist monks, has continued to the present day with the Sôgmô.

The Regal State Robes are meditations robes designed for primarily Pure Land Buddhist practitioners, and were chosen both for their colour and their thrift. The robes are incredibly utilitarian because they are tied and have pockets—and sleeves, unlike the previous robes. The colour of the robes, moreover, is both specific to Sandus and is not a colour used by any other Buddhist tradition. The Sôgmô was careful not to choose a colour which is identified with any particular Buddhist tradition’s robes for ordained people, since það is not an ordained person in any sangha.

Það will wear these robes in July when they attend the 2018 MicroFrancophonie Summit.

Sandus applies for GUM observership

The Council of the State of Sandus has approved a motion to apply to become an observer of the Grand Unified Micronational, one of the leading intermicronational organisations in the MicroWiki community. The decision comes after three votes in support and two in abstention. The motion was supported by the Sôgmô and the Diplomatic Affairs minister Jacob Barnet and, after the motion’s passing, the Sôgmô submitted an application to the Grand Unified Micronational this evening.

The motion comes as Sandum chargée d’affaires Artemis Baca is slated to serve as the primary representative of Sandus in the organisation, if the application is accepted. The Sôgmô reiterated þess unwillingness to take the top position in a possible future Sandum delegation, citing graduate school work and attention to Sandum domestic affairs. As Sandus’s chief representative abroad and as head of state, however, the Sôgmô will be attentive to the work of any Sandum delegation to the GUM.

This comes after the Sôgmô published an opinion piece last week detailing þess support of Duke Bradley of Dullahan’s and Emperor Jonathan of Austenasia’s opinions on the issues plaguing the Grand Unified Micronational. Both Wyvernian and Austenasian leaders had agreed that the organisation fared best under times of ideological difference, but the Duke of Dullahan concluded that the time had come to see the organisation be let go and to be born again. Það pointed out the obvious solution would to be encourage ideological heterogeneity in the organisation and revealed that there was a movement in Sandum government to apply again for GUM observer membership.

Sandus applied to be an observer previously in January 2017 and to be a full member in June 2017. Both applications were rejected at the time, but the active members of Sandus are rather confident that this time the application may be successful.

As an observer, the State of Sandus would have no voting powers in the organisation but may address the Quorum of Delegates, the main assembly of the organisation, with the chairperson’s consent. While only one delegate may observe the Quorum, as would be the case of Artemis Baca, the Sandum Diplomatic Affairs minister Jacob Barnet or the Sôgmô may serve as staff in the organisation’s lounge where diplomatic discussions are often held. Sandus will have to continue to demonstrate its willingness to observe the GUM every three months, a function which will likely be carried out by the Minister of Diplomatic Affairs.

Solstice Report: 75% Participation, Sôgmô’s Reign Unanimously Legitimate

Sandum citizens today are busier than ever before. There are more citizens who are active and engaged in the work of the Sandum government, from the Sôgmô to other workers in the Central People’s Government of the State of Sandus. Sandus, however, does not simply affect their micronational lives: it is also integrated with their quotidien and personal lives.

This Solstice has always marked one of the more important seasons for the State of Sandus. During the Autumn season, citizens take part in the nation’s most important cultural holiday, the Armilustrium, and engage in one of the most important democratic assemblies in our country: the Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. Moreover, it sees significant political and state holidays like the National Day of Socialism, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Athena’s Day. But most significant of all administrative days is today, when the Sovereign People conclude their annual national referendum—the sixth, in today’s case—and vote on the legitimacy of the Sôgmô’s reign.

But, because of the tripartite Sandum Philosophy, Sandus lays claim to the spirit and message behind the peaceful and joyous winter holidays. We celebrate the social equality of the Saturnalia and we go beyond the progenitors of the holiday of yore in social equality—even striving to further and further than them. We remain mindful of the Christian message of the sort found in the venerated Victorian Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas:

Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye, who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessings.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Io Saturnalia!

Sôgmô C. Soergel Publicola

Winter Solstice

Annual Charity Taxes Up, 2017 Most Philanthropic Year Yet
One of Sandus’s most notable administrative features, and one which is always reported on the quarter-days between the different seasons, is the report on charity taxes. Since March 2012, Sandum citizens have been required to donate to charitable foundations or volunteer for philanthropic causes. Each one has to report the charity which they do as private citizens, and this report always includes the work which they do in the past three months since the previous solstice or equinox.

The past season’s monetary donations are down from those reported during the Autumn Equinox, but the hours of volunteer work have more than doubled. In the past season, we have donated $929.26 USD to charity, compared to the Summer’s $1,462.41. But, on the other hand, 190 volunteering hours were completed since 22 September, compared to the average 94.5 hours in the history of Sandus accepting charity taxes in the form of volunteer work. Sandum citizens have volunteered at houses of worship, animal shelters, and environmental programs—amongst others.

History of Sandum Charity Taxes by year

Charity taxes in 2017 are up to the highest they have ever been. While part of this increase is due to the rise in the population of Sandum citizens, it is also due to the fact that most Sandum citizens have grown older and have begun accepting higher paying jobs or are more financially secure. More and more Sandum citizens are working toward or have attained a higher education than secondary education.

 

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Election 2017: Participation Up, Sôgmô’s Reign Unanimously Legitimate
Polls were open from 10 to 20 December 2017, with participation low for the first half and picking up significantly in the second half of the voting duration. By 15 December, only one vote had been submitted, representing a participation of 12.5%. By 20 December, six votes had been cast, or 75% of eligible voters.

Of Sandus’s population of 12 citizens, 11 are technically eligible, while three members of the Royal Family refuse to vote though the Sôgmô does submit a ballot. Sandum citizens have three voting options when voting on the Sôgmô’s legitimacy: yes, no, and abstain.

Of the six ballots cast, all voted in favour of þess legitimate reign. Five ballots were written in English, while one was in French; there were no extraordinary Latin ballots cast.

In the last section, the ballot turns to easement of the right to petition and to the election process itself.

What policies or concerns do you wish the Sôgmô to enact and conduct?

  1. I think the government is addressing issues in a healthy, productive manner. Further, the government seems to be handling the chaos caused by America’s current government very well. Sandus is weathering the storm well.
  2. Continued expansion to new members. Good job with that!

— Two petitions submitted in the 2017 Election

Sandum citizens are always given space, as well, to petition the Sôgmô confidentially and privately. Two petitions were given, one which was congratulatory and another which suggested that Sandus should continue expansion of citizenship. When asked how the voting process went, three ballots commended the electoral process for its ease.

The Sôgmô expressed a desire to expand Sandum citizenship to more people at the 2017 CPS Party Congress, so it is expected that Sandus will work to explain the naturalisation process for non-citizens, ease the citizenship process, and to approach others who share the values of the Sandum Philosophy.

 

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Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus: One New Membership Awarded, Four Upgraded
The Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has awarded membership to one person, updated the citation for several current members, and has upgraded three members to the rank of Commander and one Commander to the rank of Elder.

Order_of_the_Throne_of_Sandus_3rdThe recipient of membership in the Order has run a micronation since 2001 which, in 2014, became an official nonprofit public benefit corporation in California in the United States. His micronation’s primary political mission is ecological and environmental. Their friendship with the State of Sandus was demonstrated in this past year with this new member meeting with the Sôgmô and becoming close friends with other members of the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. His reign, moreover, has seen thoughtful developments in the arts and an implicit dedication to LGBTQ+ micronationalists, while his government maintains three ecological campaigns, two of which are focused on Antarctica: Global Ecocide Prevention, Preserving and Monitoring the Ice Sheet, and Advocacy through Occupation. The Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has awarded the rank of Member in the order to Grand Duke Travis of Westarctica.

For their roles in developing the Micronational Declaration on Ecological Stewardship, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has instructed that the citations for four current members to include language “for the Declaration on Ecological Stewardship” in recognition of their service to micronational environmentalism:
Adam von Friedeck EOTS
Jean Pierre d’Aigues-Mortes COTS
Niels von Flandrensis MOTS
Thomas Harris MOTS

Order_of_the_Throne_of_Sandus_2ndIn recognition for their close friendship with the State of Sandus and for their role in the successful and diplomatic governance of the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie (OMF), the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following Members of the Order to the rank of Commander:
Dominic DeSaintes-Bellemare COTS
Jean Pierre d’Aigues-Mortes COTS
Olivier d’Angyalistan COTS

Order_of_the_Throne_of_Sandus_1stIn recognition of his role as Facilitator of the Council and the former leader of another Social State, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following Commander of the Order to the rank of Elder:
Hatsu Ryuho EOTS

 

AthenaPronoea Emblem

Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea: Party Secretary Promoted
The Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea is a recently established order of honour in the State of Sandus, established to laud and to recognise the high academic achievements of Sandum citizens in a country inspired by intellectualism and scholarship.

Order of Athena Pronoea - MΑθΠOne Associate of the Order has recently graduated with a Bachelors of Arts cum laude in History and Political Science. In recognition of his venerable academic achievement and the honour bestowed upon him for this accomplishment, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following member to the rank of Member of the Order:
Adam Camillus von Friedeck MΑθΠ

Decisions of the Ninth Session of the Council in 2017

The Ninth Session of the Council in the Administrative Year 2017 lasted from 6 September to 5 October 2017.

The Sôgmô established the new Sandum capital, Quercus Candida.
The Sôgmô gave þess first economic command for the Armilustrium.

There were no decisions made by the Council.

This was the third month of Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho’s three-month term. A new election will now be called.

Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho