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Author Topic: The Northern Lights  (Read 1929 times)

Offline Datford-Zyvetskistaahn

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The Northern Lights
« on: May 26, 2014, 10:52:49 PM »
North and East Pacifics Ratify Treaty
by r3naissanc3r, Foreign Correspondent
This May saw the ratification of The North-East Pacific Security Treaty by the Regional Assembly of The North Pacific and the Magisterium of The East Pacific. The treaty, originally signed by Delegates mcmasterdonia and Bachtendekuppen for TNP and TEP respectively, creates a close bilateral alliance, including provisions for non-aggression, mutual defense, intelligence sharing, and military and diplomatic cooperation.

The alliance stems from strong communications between the governments of the two regions, especially during the terms of Delegate Bachtendekuppen. It builds on the basis of their shared commitment to the defense of sovereignty of feeder regions and promotion of peaceful relations between them. These two principles, which have jointly been dubbed "feeder unity" in the past, are key tenets of both regions' foreign policy.

For TEP, the new treaty is the first in a series with other Game-Created Regions: in addition to TNP, TEP's Magisterium is currently discussing bilateral alliances with the New Pacific Order and the Osiris Fraternal Order. The new treaties are the result of a foreign policy of active outward expansion that has been pursued by Delegate Bachtendekuppen and his government. This policy has received increased emphasis after the controversy relating to the Defender Act in February. Since then, the region has been seeking to reaffirm its diplomatic non-alignment and its position in favor of an army that can act outside military doctrines and in connection with broader diplomatic objectives.

For TNP, the new treaty brings a valuable military ally. The East Pacific Sovereign Army (EPSA) is unique among allied militaries for its regular engagement and expertise in defending operations. This diversification in the North Pacific Army's (NPA) military partners will be critical for the achievement of the NPA's goal for operational capability under both offensive and defensive conditions.

Towards this goal, new Delegate of TNP r3naissanc3r announced that the NPA will be focusing on frequent and diverse training exercises organized jointly with allied militaries. The NPA and EPSA have already initiated military cooperation, with a successful occupation of Warzone Asia and attempted liberation operations. Joint exercises with the EPSA are expected to continue to feature prominently in the operational schedule.

r3naissanc3r Elected TNP Delegate
by PaulWallLibertarian42, Game-side Reporter
If you have been paying any attention at all lately to the World Factbook Entry of The North Pacific you may have noticed something different.

mcmasterdonia, with a record-breaking reign of 237 days, was ineligible to seek a third term in office due to constitutional term limits. r3naissanc3r (HMS Unicorn) was elected delegate, with a majority of 54.3% of the vote in the May 2014 General Election. The new delegate brings a breadth of experience to the office: r3naissanc3r has played NationStates since 2005 and has held multiple offices in TNP over the last two years.

All newly-elected delegates are faced with the immediate task of securing the in-game delegacy. TNP's new delegate was no exception, having to accumulate more than 400 endorsements and more than any other nation in the game.

To assist him with this imposing task, the new delegate had the Security Council (SC), a body charged with protecting the delegacy of TNP, keeping it in safe and legal hands. "Without going into too much detail the SC has been monitoring the transition quite carefully," said new Vice Delegate Abacathea while r3naissanc3r was still gathering endorsements. "The swap in a GCR is always a lengthy process because of the vast number of endorsements involved, but there has been great work and co-operation between the new delegate, the outgoing delegate, and the council members."

In the end, four days after his election, r3naissanc3r assumed the in-game delegate seat. No administration will be entirely smooth sailing, but the ease and efficiency of this transition reflects well on the new government. The longest transition on record is 60 days, and took place in 2012 after the election of Blue Wolf II.

Army-Navy Rivalry Reaches TNP
by SillyString, Legislative Reporter
For as long as The North Pacific has had a military force, that force has been the North Pacific Army (NPA). Founded while the region was officially defender-aligned, the NPA is a widely respected institution both within TNP and abroad.

In late April, Alunya, a relatively new member of the Regional Assembly (RA), proposed a bill that would change the name of the military to the North Pacific Navy (NPN). She explained her desire to correct a thematic mismatch, citing the region's maritime name and land-based military. Alunya also pointed out that her bill "does not change the policies and procedures of our military forces," but would be solely cosmetic.

The reaction to this proposal has been a mixture of support and opposition, most of it relatively laid-back. Former Vice Delegate Democatic Donkeys called the proposal "sensible and in line with what our region is," while Kiwi, a former Minister of Defense, said that he didn't support the change in nomenclature but thanked Alunya for making the suggestion.

For some of TNP's ten-year veteran members, however, the issue is much weightier. Recalling the glory days of the NPA and TNP's prominence as a military power, their reactions to this proposal have been just as varied in sentiment, but far more passionate. Grosseschnauzer, the longest standing RA member, came out in fierce opposition to the measure, calling it a "disrespectful insult to TNP history" and demanding that the region's traditions be respected. Flemingovia disagreed, saying that such a change would free the new NPN to "build its own tradition and make a clean break from what the NPA stood for in the past." He went on to say, "I think the North Pacific Army has evolved (or devolved) to the point where a new nomenclature would actually be useful and warranted. This is not to insult what has gone before. It is to respect our history." Romanoffia, currently serving as Chief Justice, sided with Grosseschnauzer on the issue. He called the suggested name change a "feel-good measure" that would produce "no meaningful increase in efficiency or function."

The level of vitriol expressed over a name might surprise those who are unfamiliar with TNP, but the exchange between these members provoked almost no response from others in the RA - and no broader discussion whatsoever about the merits of their opinions. The bill proceeded to vote in a timely fashion, and was ultimately defeated 16-21.
SillyString's Silly Advice
by SillyString, Advice Columnist
This column does not represent the views of the Government of The North Pacific.
Hello, and welcome to SillyString's Silly Advice. Readers write in with questions, problems, or dilemmas, and I provide completely serious, definitely not at all silly advice. The question to kick all of this off comes from a long-time fan of the column who has only now worked up the nerve to bare their soul.

"How do I become involved in TNP's cabinet?"
-Anonymous FriarTuck

That's a great question, AFT! The political system of TNP is a morass of corruption, bribery, nepotism, and plain old confusion, so if you want to get seriously involved it's important to understand the dynamics at play. There are two powerful cliques within TNP, which are sometimes (but not always) at war with one another - the Oligarchy (sometimes affectionately called the Elugarchy) and the IRCabal.

The Oligarchy consists of those members who consistently serve in some area of the government term after term, and it frequently controls the Delegate's Cabinet Ministers. If you want to know if somebody is a member of the Oligarchy, just ask! Evasive or confused answers always mean "yes".

The IRCabal, meanwhile, consists of several (but not all) TNPers who dare to venture into that mysterious land known as IRC, and it exercises control over all voting results. Members of the IRCabal are very secretive, but some intrepid investigation by a few brave non-Cabalists who have infiltrated their ranks has revealed a growing number of names. If somebody has been publicly accused of being in the IRCabal, they probably are.

As you can see, these two cliques can be nigh unstoppable when their priorities lie in the same direction, a situation which is more common the more crossover and intermarriage there is between their memberships. At times, however, they are bitterly opposed, and will attempt to tear down the system itself just to come out on top.

To bring this back around to your question, the only people who get ahead in TNP are those who join one of these cliques and exhibit unquestioning loyalty to its goals. Both of them freely reward hard work and dedication with increasing levels of power and decreasing levels of responsibility; you just need to pick which one you think is right for you. Switching membership later on is highly frowned upon, so it's important to make the best decision that you can early on!

Seriously silly,
SillyString

The Northern Lights: Beauty in Truth
Publisher: r3naissanc3r :: Executive Editor: Crushing Our Enemies :: Managing Editor: mcmasterdonia :: Graphic Artist: SillyString

The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.

Offline Datford-Zyvetskistaahn

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Re: The Northern Lights
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 10:29:07 PM »
The Romanoffian Recall
by mcmasterdonia, Political Reporter
The North Pacific was fortunate to take part in two of its favourite pastimes recently - court drama and a recall motion. This came after a tumultuous week in court, where Chief Justice Romanoffia was presiding over a criminal trial against Durkadurkiranistan. During the trial, Romanoffia failed to maintain order in the courtroom, accusing the defence counsel of badgering and trolling, and varyingly commenting against criminal legislation, the judicial system in general, and forum administration for not invervening. This culminated in Romanoffia dismissing all charges with prejudice, in a manner that was widely regarded as a fit of rage and inappropriate conduct for a judge.

Prior to the case dismissal, Romanoffia's behaviour during the trial had not gone unnoticed. Abbey Anumia, herself a former attorney general and chief justice, had introduced a proposal to recall Romanoffia from office, citing previous instances of inappropriate behavior and actions demonstrating insufficient knowledge of the regional law. This proposal had laid dormant for a couple of days and it appeared that the Regional Assembly (RA) members would not be taking further action to remove Romanoffia from office. In the meantime, and while the trial was ongoing, senior members of the region had reached out to Romanoffia in private, in an attempt to restore calm and advise caution and sensibility. This advice, however, appeared to have had no effect.

The situation changed as soon as Romanoffia dismissed the case: the recall of Romanoffia became the most actively debated topic in the RA. Delegate r3naissanc3r advised Romanoffia to resign, in order to allow the court to return to its duties and to give the chief justice a graceful exit from his position in the Court. Romanoffia refused to do so, leading the delegate to express his support for the motion for recall. Commentary among other members was also strongly in support of the recall, with Flemingovia calling it "a no-brainer".

When the motion was moved to vote, preliminary voting indicated that the motion would be successful. While the votes were still coming in, however, Romanoffia decided to resign from his position. Before resigning, he amended his earlier decision and changed the dismissal of charges to be without prejudice, providing the opportunity for another future indictment against defendant Durkadurkiranistan. SillyString has replaced Romanoffia as chief justice, and Kiwi was elected in a special election to fill the vacant spot on the bench.

North Pacific Army Intensifies Workout
by Kiwi, Military Correspondent
Following the general election of May, Delegate r3naissanc3r stated that the North Pacific Army (NPA) will continue to be a military operating outside the raider/defender dichotomy, maintaining capability to conduct both defensive and offensive operations, and acting in whatever capacity is required to best serve the regional interests. Towards this end, the delegate announced an agenda of frequent training operations, with an emphasis on joint exercises with allied militaries, increased military recruitment, and more effective military command. To implement this agenda, r3naissanc3r appointed Gladio as Minister of Defense. This appointment came as no surprise, following Gladio's service as Deputy Minister of Defense in the previous government and in what was widely viewed as a successful term.

During Gladio's first month in office, the NPA has already executed a plurality of training missions. Jointly with the East Pacific Sovereign Army (EPSA), the NPA captured and held Warzone Asia, in an operation that was shortly followed by the ratification of the North-East Pacific Security Treaty. Warzones are particularly attractive for training exercises, as the NPA's governing doctrine permits the ejection and banning of nations in warzones. The NPA and EPSA also unsuccessfully attempted to liberate the region Free Reynolds, which was being occupied by the group Sicarius.

The NPA additionally joined forces with the Europeian Republican Navy, to conduct training exercises in Former United States and Warzone Africa. While both operations were foiled by the Rejected Realms Army, they provided valuable training experience for NPA members. Finally, the NPA on its own successfully completed training missions in Warzone Airspace and The Cold War Relics. In all of these operations, the NPA has consistently provided more than five updater and more than ten reinforcement units, demonstrating its military prowess and strong operational capability. The positive results of the training program have also been seen in the recent NPA-led operation against Nazi Europe, the first deployment of the NPA this term that was not a training exercise.

Gladio has further undertaken an extensive revamp of the ranking and command structure of the NPA, with the primary objectives being simplification and flexibility. On the recruitment side, Gladio has initiated a large-scale telegramming campaign, in order to tap the vast pool of World Assembly nations in The North Pacific for recruits. Along with other recruitment initiatives run by the government, this has already resulted in 15 new privates joining the NPA.

First Impressions
by PaulWallLibertarian42, Game-side Reporter
First impressions are very important and they may set the tone for future interaction. The Regional Message Board (RMB) and the engagement of the delegate are both important factors in creating a positive first impression for new nations.

During the recent election for delegate, a few Regional Assembly members, most notably Alunya, expressed concerns about the candidates' activity on the RMB. All candidates promised that their activity would improve significantly following their election.

A week after the election, when asked about Delegate r3naissanc3r's activity on the RMB, Alunya stated the following: "It's still early in HMS Unicorn's administration, so it may be a bit unfair to comment on the game-side approach. The good thing is that there is an outreach effort on the regional message board and that the game-side is not being ignored."

Alunya went on to comment on the need for changes to the regional forum, to help retain new nations that register there. "We don't recruit, so retention ought to be our goal," Alunya said. "Make friends and then suggest the off-site forum when it is a little easier for a newcomer to navigate. And when it is ready, then a marketing blitz for the "New and Improved" forum would be appropriate."

The North Pacific has traditionally placed a strong emphasis on the welcoming and integration of newcomers to the region. This is in part reflected on the significantly larger World Assembly (WA) population TNP has compared to other game-created regions, and the comparatively large base of forum citizens that also have WA nations in the region.

Delegate r3naissanc3r has rolled out ambitions plans for his Ministry of Home Affairs, to build and expand upon the already existing infrastructure. Multi-layered telegram campaigns, both automated and manual, have been implemented, and the RMB frequently features posts highlighting government activities. On the forum-side, the introductory section has been revamped to be easier to navigate, and with the creation of Executive Staff new members are presented with a wealth of job opportunities as soon as they join. Several other initiatives are in the works, but in the meantime these changes have already resulted in a surge in the number of newcomers: since the beginning of the term, the regional forum has been receiving an average of four new members per day, while more than 40 Regional Assembly applications have been submitted.

Hypercorrection
by SillyString, Legislative Reporter
Alunya recently introduced a modest proposal to the Regional Assembly (RA). After noticing that the Legal Code referred, varyingly, to a Minister for Defence, a Minister of Defence, and a Minister of Defense, Alunya proposed replacing all references with "Minister for Defence".

The bill resulted in an RA argument between proponents of the American and British spellings, which led a frustrated Alunya to withdraw it. It was then reintroduced nearly verbatim by Democratic Donkeys, while two further alternatives were suggested. The first, from Crushing Our Enemies, proposed holding simultaneous votes on all possible title variants. The second, from r3naissanc3r, proposed replacing all titles with generic references to an executive officer. The RA eventually rejected Democratic Donkeys' bill and passed r3naissanc3r's.

This is not the first legislative treble to occur - the previous one took place barely a month ago, and also dealt with a minor corrective issue. After it was discovered that a previous amendment had left two successive legal clauses numbered the same, a debate erupted on how to best handle similar issues in the future. The main point of contention was ensuring legality: The regional court had previously struck down a legislative shortcut for correcting "minor errors", as a violation of the constitutional mandate that laws be passed by majority vote of the RA. The RA sought to ensure any new proposal would not face a similar fate.

First came PaulWallLibertarian42's proposal, requiring that all bills be proofread by the author and speaker before going to vote. Second was a bill by Grosseschnauzer. It circumvented legality issues by adding constitutional provisions for a procedure to correct "non-substantive errors", then established one in the Legal Code. A third proposal, from Crushing Our Enemies, amended the Legal Code so that clause numbers would not be considered part of the law. The RA passed this final bill and rejected the other two.

Both situations arose out of relatively minor errors, which functionally have no effect on the interpretation of the law. On one level, such small concerns do not merit this level of response. But underlying each fork of an existing proposal is a fundamental disagreement about legislative approach and an unwillingness to reach a compromise. And counterintuitively, these small issues are ones where stubbornness is tolerable: At the end of the day, a failure to pass any bill results only in the retention of a typo.

The Importance of WA Forums
by Treize_Dreizehn, WA Correspondent
In a recent article, Gruenberg, World Assembly (WA) regular, asserted that the WA forum community have little actual effect on the voting habits of WA members. This article takes an investigative look at this assertion, by examining the voting trends of some of the regions with the largest of voting power in the game, the nine game-created regions (GCRs). Collectively, the delegates of these regions represent more than 1,800 votes. To put this into perspective, most votes are decided by fewer than 10,000 total votes, meaning that GCR delegacies account for more than 20% of the voting tally.

In most of these regions, the delegate's vote is determined by an offsite poll. While it is true that the many of the delegates and a large portion of the poll participants are not involved in the GA or SC forums, very frequently the response of the poll aligns with the views of WA regulars that participate in the respective regions.

To provide some examples, the author is the WA Minister for two GCRs, The West Pacific and Osiris, where he places resolutions up for discussion and vote, and he is given wide latitude to express opinions on them. His opinions are based largely on the drafting threads in the WA forums, and are valued largely because of his own long history in those forums. The same is true, e.g., in The South Pacific with Glen-Rhodes, in The East Pacific with Ramaeus, and in the region with the biggest delegacy in the game, The North Pacific with Abacathea.

When asked about the subject, Delegate r3naissanc3r stated that "Abacathea is very knowledgeable on WA matters, and a prominent author himself. His reviews are always helpful in making an informed decision." Abacathea estimated that the region aligns with his recommendations roughly 90% of the time, while stating that the WA forums are the primary formulating factor for his reviews. "Everything I know came out of those forums," he said characteristically, while claiming he would likely not be WA Minister were it not for his own experience in the WA forums.

The discussion so far has focused on voting, but it is worth also considering drafting. It is almost universally accepted that posting drafts in the WA forums is beneficial for the quality of the final proposals. Not submitting proposals to the WA forum drafting process is widely frowned upon, and such pieces are very likely inferior pieces that will be voted down by the assembly itself.

If posting a thread in the WA forums so dramatically improves chances of passing a piece of legislation, the idea that those forums are meaningless in the grand scheme of things makes little or no sense. And likewise, if 20% of the voting tally is strongly influenced by the opinions of WA forum regulars, it is hard to argue that those forums have little impact on WA voting. The WA forums matter. And the people discussing things there are not just shouting into the void. They matter.

SillyString's Silly Advice
by SillyString, Advice Columnist
This column does not represent the views of the Government of The North Pacific.
Hullo again, gentle readers, and welcome to SillyString Little Advice on the Prairie. These are prairie lands we're standing in, right? No matter. I think you'll really love this week's column!

"How do I pass a law in the RA? Why do we have a Constibillocode? Is the Court any important in TNP?"
-Ebul Imperialist

Those are wonderful questions, EI, and a great way to follow up on the last column's advice.

It is a little-known bylaw in TNP that only members of the Oligarchy or the IRCabal have the legal authority to propose and pass laws. While there are no formal penalties imposed on people who violate this, severe ostracization and catastrophic bill failure is generally applied to anybody who steps out of line.

So you really have two options if you don't want this to happen to you![1] Either you can join one of the aforementioned groups and use your status as a member to validate the bills you want to right, or you can seek out an existing, high-ranking member to act as a prominent supporter. After all, the RA will often turn a blind eye to such lawbreaking if there is a risk that pointing it out will anger one of the two cliques.

After that, the content of your bill doesn't really matter. You would, however, do well to seek a divination from the region's Chief Augur. Woe betide anyone who pushes to vote a bill doomed by Flem to fail!

As for your second question, we have a Constibillocode (for new readers, that's Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Legal Code) because it's a great way to keep the population under the iron boot of authority. Naturally it has no real power, but nevertheless nobody is ever happy with any sentence of any part of it. They expend all of their energy attempting to fix it, over and over and over again, and fail to notice the Oligarchy and the IRCabal climbing on their shoulders to hit at each other with frozen baguettes.[2]

And finally, the Court is many important in TNP. The three people on the Court are the most trusted members in government, burdened with the great responsibility for making sure that the common folk never find out that the Constibillocode is all a sham. They keep people's attention focused on the law and how terrible it is so that the powerful cliques can get down to the actual running of the place in peace.[3]

Seriously Silly,
SillyString


[1]You don't.
[2]Swords, of course, are customary, but after it was determined that there was "too much risk of actual injury, and not enough chance to whack each other", the two unanimously amended the rules of engagement to forbid sharp weapons. Frozen baguettes are now preferred for the nice, thuddy sound they make when you connect with your foe.
[3]This is, of course, comparable to the flight attendant who eagerly points out the exciting landmark being passed on the left, so that passengers do not notice the passing ICBM on the right.

The Northern Lights: Beauty in Truth
Publisher: r3naissanc3r :: Executive Editor: Crushing Our Enemies :: Managing Editor: mcmasterdonia :: Graphic Artist: SillyString

The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.

Offline Sovereign Dixie

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  • Fuck the revolution.
Re: The Northern Lights
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 12:21:42 PM »
Great stuff, thanks for posting!

I salute TNP's commitment to "neutrality".


Offline Datford-Zyvetskistaahn

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Re: The Northern Lights
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 10:17:36 PM »
Contemplations on Nazi Europe
by r3naissanc3r, Foreign Correspondent
On July 14th, the North Pacific Army and the United Imperial Armed Forces refounded the region of Nazi Europe (NE), successfully concluding an occupation that had been ongoing for six weeks. The operation involved a coalition of militaries from Osiris, Balder, Equilism, Europeia, The East Pacific, Lone Wolves United, The Black Hawks, The Red Fleet, Unknown, The Kingdom of Great Britain, Sicarius, Mazeria, The MT Army, Kantrias and North Korea; and was one of the largest in recent gameplay history, with an endorsement count exceeding 80 at its peak. As the seemingly last in a series of high-profile interregional incidents involving NE, the refounding provides an opportunity to look back at the events that lead to this conclusion.

In February 2013, representatives from game-created regions participated in a summit organized by the New Pacific Order, with the purpose of coordinating their efforts against Nazism in NationStates. The summit produced and successfully passed a Security Council liberation proposal targeting the notorious, but also founderless and password-protected, region of NE, with the explicit intent of opening it up for invasion. Several attacks against NE took place afterwards, though none of them were successful. The SC eventually repealed the NE liberation in February 2014, and the region was passworded once more. However, the reuse of an older password by the NE delegate meant that invasion was feasible once more, leading to the eventual refounding.

Both the NE liberation and offensive military action against NE, as well as Nazi regions in general, have been the subject of considerable controversy. Those opposing anti-Nazi aggression have argued that it has the opposite of the intended effect, in a twofold manner: First, rather than demoralize those espousing Nazi beliefs, counterintuitively it increases their resolve and their dedication towards spreading their ideology. Second, it unnecessarily draws attention to Nazi regions, offering them a convenient means for recruitment - essentially an "any PR is good PR" argument.[1]

To support these arguments, commentators have offered data showing an increase in the total population of a number of Nazi regions starting in February 2013 and persisting until 2014. The coincidence of the beginning of this rise with the passage of the NE liberation is evidence, they argue, that the liberation and subsequent attacks made Nazi players more determined to grow their regions and benefitted their recruitment efforts. This, however, is a very weak causal link. The rise of these regions’ populations can be easily attributed to another development: the release, in February 2013, of the Telegram API and legalisation of telegramming scripts for recruitment. Indeed, this author has received automated recruitment telegrams from many of these Nazi regions as soon as March 2013 - and notably none of those telegrams made reference or even alluded to either the NE liberation or any of the other SC resolutions condemning Nazi regions. The positive effects such scripts had on the population of small- and mid-size regions, especially before the introduction of stamps in August 2013, is well-documented. The fact that the population data can be trivially explained by the introduction of recruitment scripts means that this data has very little, if any, persuasive force for the commentators’ arguments.

A data point more relevant for evaluating the effects of anti-Nazi aggression would be the following: For the 12 months the liberation of NE was in effect, the region was protected by a strong garrison of more than 20 WA units. With perhaps the majority of their troops stuck inside NE for a whole year, the offensive operational capability of Nazi regions was crippled. In turn, this resulted in a reduction of destructive Nazi attacks against regions, with most of their operations limited to tag raids of few units. Unsurprisingly, the repeal of the liberation also saw the return of large-scale Nazi deployments, for instance in Liberal Haven in March 2014. A similar effect was observed in June 2014, when a coalition of Nazi regions abandoned their occupation of Hell to protect NE. What these two cases highlight is that the creation of credible threats through anti-Nazi aggression is tremendously effective in halting the forceful expansion of the Nazi ideology in other regions.

The publicity Nazi regions get from aggression against them should likewise be evaluated with respect to the objective of halting the spread of the Nazi ideology in NationStates. It has been documented, in the past and also in this article, that Nazi regions systematically attempt to recruit new nations, and through that process expose new players to their hateful message. Consider, then, a naive new player who is a considering a recruitment offer from a Nazi region; the presence of WA documents condemning it and the conspicuous mobilization of some of the most important regions in the game against it both serve as educational resources informing the player not to accept the offer. They also serve as strong warnings for regions considering associating themselves with Nazi regions. In their absence, and in an era where everyone can easily reach every new nation, or even every nation, in the game, Nazi regions would be completely unimpeded to expand their recruitment efforts, with the rest of the world watching in apathy. It is important to caution against turning these actions of anti-Nazi aggression into celebrations of notoriety, which indeed can be exploited for recruitment purposes. However, systematic and carefully crafted messages opposing Nazism, broadcasted to the NS world by its major regions, can only help to defeat the spread of this ideology in NationStates.

The coordinated action by gameplay regions against Nazi regions has been dubbed by commentators the "War on Nazis". In many ways this is an inaccurate designation: It is not a war in the usual diplomatic sense used in NS Gameplay. It is certainly not analogous to the real War against Nazism, and to liken our inconsequential gameplay to that War is an offensive trivialization. What it actually is is a cause: against the celebration of a horrendous ideology, against the proliferation of this ideology within the NS community, and against the exploitation of this community to proselytize people to this ideology. What the efforts against Nazi Europe have shown is that anti-Nazi aggression from gameplay regions can be of immense utility to this cause. For this reason, The North Pacific is elated to have led and successfully concluded these efforts, and remains committed to the cause against Nazism in NationStates.

[1]Another source of opposition is from players, primarily defender-leaning, who oppose all kinds of invading activity - but this line of reasoning is unrelated to this article and will not be discussed here.

A Chat with Moderators Mall and Mousebumples
by Treize_Dreizehn, WA Correspondent
Recently, we sat down with recently appointed NationStates moderators Mall and Mousebumples, to talk about their experience as moderators and their thoughts on the various happenings in the World Assembly.

Treize_Dreizehn (TD): Hey everybody, this is Treize Dreizehn for the Northern Lights. I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine, NationStates moderator Mousebumples. Mall, also a NationStates moderator, will be joining us shortly.

I think we're all busy folks so we'll dive right into the questions. What was the process that lead to your becoming a moderator?

Mousebumples (Mouse): In the spring, there was some talk on the NS forums that more GA mods might be helpful - in part because of absences that some GA mods had coming up for the summer, in part because of the inactivity of a previous mod who tended to cover the GA (Flib), and in part because of the need for new voices after the GA#2 repeal controversy.

The mods/admins put out a call - specifically looking for players to suggest GA mods - and both Mall and I were nominated. I'm sure others were nominated too, but when the final decision was made, Mall and I were both invited to join the mod team.

TD: So. After becoming moderators, you encountered some... resentment towards your selection, can you go into a little detail about that?

Mouse: Moderating the site/GA isn't necessarily an easy position as you can't be everyone's friend all the time. There will always inevitably be players that disagree with rulings and decisions that are made, so I don't know that any of the discord that we've experienced has been overly unexpected, I don't think.

TD: Though, it appears intense, from an outside observer's perspective. Is it different from yours?

Mouse: It's all relative. As I've been playing NS for almost 11 years, I saw plenty of disagreements and challenges to moderator rulings of all sorts prior to being modded. It's unreasonable to expect players to always calmly accept all rulings that don't go their way, I think.

TD: Which ruling or rulings of yours have brought the most controversy?

Mouse: I'd probably defer to the general public that's more impacted by such rulings. GA rulings are made collaboratively, so we don't really have any mod controversy about the rulings that we've made since being modded and that's more my frame of reference now.

** At this point Mall joined our chat, claiming to still be hungover after celebrating a raucous minor update.

Mall: Wooooo.

TD: Haha! Just in time man, we're going to shift gears a bit to GA proposals.

What has been your favorite proposal to make it to vote so far? Not counting ones you authored.

Mall: Hmmmm that's tough. I'd have to say that the Clean Prostitute Act will always hold a special place in my heart because of how bafflingly simple it was and how easily it was passed.

Mouse: I'll vote for one of yours - Repeal "Dignified End of Life Choices" because that was one I wanted to see repealed for awhile. I don't love the replacement, but ... that's a project for a later date.

TD: And what's your favorites proposals to make it to vote since you became mods?

Mall: Eh since modship I don't have any favorites. Nothing has really jumped out at me as being particularly outrageous or inspiring competition.

Mouse: Since modship, I'll vote for Sanctaria's "Child Welfare in Adoption" - Adoption is a topic that I've wanted to see added to the annals of WA law for awhile, but I never felt strong enough in that area to want to cover it myself. So, I'm glad to Sanctaria do so - and to avoid doing so in a micromanagey way, too!

TD: Haha. That actually brings me to a common topic for all of us. In a recent TRT article, Gruenberg opined that that "Natsov is dead". Do you agree with that sentiment?

Mall: As long as there are nations there will be a NatSov movement. From an IC perspective obviously I disagree, from an OOC perspective I'd say that it's an incredibly bold claim that I don't think is backed by any hard evidence.

Mouse: I agree that that's Gruenberg's opinion. I don't agree with the statement since I have plenty of players that oppose intensive WA intervention into member states.

So long as the GA exists, NatSov will always be chipped away at with new legislation; however, I think that there are still plenty of players that are opposed to excessive GA intervention and are not afraid to vote down legislation that they feel is overly invasive on those grounds.

TD: Does it seem that there is more of a trend of repeals recently?

Mouse: it goes in cycles

Mall: I'd agree. We're not at where we were a few weeks or months ago when we were passing six repeals in a row.

Mouse: I don't know that there are currently any repeals at quorum, but, there obviously have been a bunch recently. I think some voters (and authors) get tired of drafting and submitting repeals endlessly - some being the keyword, as I know you like to repeal lots of things ... Although even you have submitted New Legislation now.

TD: Shocking I know.

Last question then I'll let you guys get back to work. If you had a chance right now to repeal a resolution and be sure it'd pass, which one would you choose, and why?

Mouse: I'd love to repeal all the WA legislation and start over - in part because it's getting difficult to legislate on a lot of things because of all the legislation that's already been passed. But ... one thing to repeal, hrm.

Mall: Personally I'd like to take out NAPA just so that Flib would be woken from his slumber and whack us with his longstanding threat to pass a replacement.

TD: Haha. Mouse, I'm holding you to a specific answer here.

Mouse: Convention on Execution. Because if the GA is going to have a resolution on the death penalty it should be more NatSov'y than that resolution is.

TD: Fair enough!

It was great talking to you two, and good luck with the unwashed masses of diplomats and bureaucrats.

Mall: It has been our pleasure I'm sure ;)

Mouse: What Mall said. Thanks for the interview. :)

** Post interview, we decided to do a small chat with Mall on his recent "Liberate Haven" proposal.

TD: Thanks for sticking around. Can you walk us through the events of the Liberate Haven proposal?

Mall: Sure! I knew that I was going to attempt to utilize the SC in that manner for awhile, the question was which region to target. I was torn between The Proletariat Coalition and Haven. Both regions had ties to past events which might make them open to criticism, and I basically flipped a coin and it came up Haven.

TD: And which manner is that?

Mall: An outright attempt to open up a region for invasion. Traditionally of course the SC has been used to open up regions so that defenders can save it. After that I threw the draft together, posted it, and managed the thread as best I could for the dozens of pages it went on.

TD: It didn't go quite as you expected though?

Mall: Nothing in gameplay really ever goes according to plan, especially not when you get the SC involved. Obviously there was significant opposition which negated any chance of getting the proposal to pass so that was abandoned after the proposal failed to reach quorum.

TD: Do you believe that the RPers of NS deserve a right to Opt Out of R/D?

Mall: I think the more important question is whether or not an "opt out" from "r/d" is ever really possible... as long as there is a player with power in a region or system then there is the potential for them to use it nefariously. I really haven't seen a proposal so far that can't be worked around. But they are more than welcome to keep coming up with suggestions.

TD: And what do you say to some of your allies(former or otherwise) who believe this proposal has resulted in a political environment that is more hostile to raiding and imperialists?

Mall: I don't think there has been any political shift. Raiders keep raiding, the Imperialists keep pursuing their interests, we generally get along well, and the world keeps on spinning.

TD: Alright. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I'm sure there's plenty of folks that'll be interested in your responses on this issue.

Mall: Oh there always are.


Apparently this issue exceeds the forum's character limit, so it'll have to be a double post, I'm afraid.

Offline Datford-Zyvetskistaahn

  • Foreign Dignitary
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Re: The Northern Lights
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 10:18:17 PM »
Exciting times in TNP's Court
by punk d, Judicial Reporter
The court of The North Pacific finds itself in a curious situation. Following the resignation of former Chief Justice Romanoffia, his successor Chief Justice SillyString has, along with Justices Kiwi and Ator People, conducted the business of the court in a more reserved manner than under Chief Justice Romanoffia. Romanoffia was wont to react to the crowd with proclamations that would not come to fruition and it appears that SillyString and her fellow justices are taking an opposite approach to the bench.

With this backdrop, I asked SillyString what is the major concern facing the court in the wake of Romanoffia's resignation. She replied, "There are two concerns facing the court. One, any open issues to be resolved (of which there is currently one), and two, I think it's well past time that the Court went through its archives and released old discussions into the public eye. There is no obligation for this kind of transparency, but in my opinion it would be highly beneficial. I hope the Court will pursue this second one in the upcoming term, no matter who sits on it."

Readers will certainly find SillyString's second pressing issue of interest as it begs the question - what court secrets will be revealed? Will SillyString reveal the deliberations of the region's most controversial rulings? In the event that SillyString wins reelection and is selected as chief justice, we'll have to see what she really means by "transparency".

Following the resignation of Romanoffia, the three justices agreed upon and published a revised version of the court rules, the set of procedures the court uses for all cases before it. I asked SillyString how the new court rules improve upon the old rules. She said, "I think the rule changes have two primary benefits. First, they clarify and simplify procedures, particularly the rules of evidence (which were absurdly complicated before). This will allow trials and hearings to run more smoothly, and I believe will make things easier on people with less experience in NS or TNP courts. Second, they add guidelines where none existed with respect to the conduct of justices and other participants and the level of discretion an individual justice has as compared to the full bench. I think this additional structure is also a good thing, and will hopefully help avoid any future situations from devolving into nonsense as the trial of JAL did."

Simplifying and adding guidelines sound good to this writer. Under the old rules there were complaints that one needed to be a real-life lawyer to maneuver through court proceedings. It appears that the new rules address this issue.

The recently concluded judicial elections have seen SillyString and Kiwi remain as chief justice and justice respectively, and Blue Wolf II replace Ator People on the bench. How will the new court navigate the numerous questions before it and will the justices be able to keep the often volatile RA satisfied with their rulings? These questions are yet to be answered, but we'll soon find out if the new court will permanently depart from the circumstances of Romanoffia's chaotic term. It's certainly an exciting time within TNP's judicial landscape.

SillyString's Silly Advice
by SillyString, Advice Columnist
This column does not represent the views of the Government of The North Pacific.
"Dear SillyString, how do I get to be as good as you at saying things like 'accusative interrogative personal pronoun' and actually know what that means? How did you get so good at words?"
- Mysterious Monkfish

Well, MM, first you need to find the biggest, heaviest, most uncomfortable dictionary that you can find and use it as a pillow for at least three months. This will allow most of the words it contains to osmose into your brain while you sleep. It's even better if you can take frequent naps during this time it'll work even better!

Then what you want to do is take your friendly dictionary pillow and start to tear the pages out one by one, fry them up in some butter, and eat them. You should only tear out what you need for any given meal, though, because the flavor degrades rapidly, and always use butter to preserve the educational value. Continue to use your dictionary as a pillow until you have eaten the entire thing, minus the covers. These can be composted and used in your garden.

Once you have followed these steps, you should be just as good at words as I am!

"Dear SillyString, Please tell me why I shouldn't have a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch."
- Hungry Hungry Hippo

Oh, there are all kinds of reasons not to have a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch. If you're allergic to peanuts, for example, you probably shouldn't eat one[1], and if you don't have any milk to wash it down, you might not feel very refreshed afterwards. Alternatively, if you happen to have some delicious Fluff, you would be better off making a fluffernutter and banana sandwich as that is much tastier. And if you really want to get fancy, a fluffernutella sandwich is really to die for, with or without banana slices.

But if you don't have fluff, or nutella, and you've got plenty of milk, and you're not allergic to peanuts, well, I can't think of a single reason why not.

"Dear Silly String, I like this girl. I think she likes me. Wat do?"
-Confused

Aww, Confused, didn't you learn this one in middle school? Stick gum in her hair and push her when you pass each other in the hallway. This will show her how you feel! If she hits you back, you're officially going out!

Seriously Silly,
SillyString


[1]Though you could, of course, if you're only a little allergic.

The Northern Lights: Beauty in Truth
Publisher: r3naissanc3r :: Executive Editor: Crushing Our Enemies :: Managing Editor: mcmasterdonia :: Graphic Artist: SillyString

The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.