The Official Newspaper of Lazarus
Issue VII • July 2016 • Inter-Regional Edition
FOREWORD: The State of the Gazette
I would like to thank all contributors and readers of the Gazette for helping make our newspaper one of the greatest. However, we are always looking for more writers to help contribute to the Gazette. Unsure of where to get started? Contact the current Minister Steward, who is overseeing all operations of the Gazette. The Gazette is the perfect place to begin involvement in Lazarus' government.
The Gazette would like to bid farewell to Loftegen and thank him greatly for the work he has done with Lazarus in his two terms. Not expecting Loftegen to be leaving Lazarus anytime soon, but it is important to acknowledge a great leader such as Loftegen. Loftegen is known for contributing comedic pieces to the rumors section of the Gazette, which is undoubtedly the most popular section. Without Loftegen, I, myself, would not have gotten involved in the Gazette and I would like to thank him for the opportunity I was given by being nominated to the Grand Assembly as Minister Steward.
Starberry will soon be appointing a new Minister Steward soon and as I exit office I would like to encourage everyone to take initiative and write pieces for the Gazette. You do not need to be the editor of the paper to submit articles, nor do you need to be assigned topics to do so. If you are in need for an idea for an article, the editor-in-chief will undoubtedly have many ideas for you! Do not be shy! Get involved!
LAZARUS SUMMER ELECTIONS
Lazarus' General Elections for the March 2016 cycle have commenced and completed. New faces have quickly popped up around Lazarus within new positions. Nearly the entire face of the government has seen change. For the better? We'll have to keep paying attention in order to find that out.
First and most importantly, a new Sovereign has been elected. Out with Loftegen, who has finished his second and final term and was not up for re-election. Staberry has been elected as the new Sovereign and plans to bring great change to the government of Lazarus. Like most others, she plans to bring a prosperous and active state to the thousands of residents within Lazarus. Out with the current Minister Steward; Starberry will be submitting a new one to the Grand Assembly for recommendation soon. In addition, Starberry will be recommending her former opponent in the elections, Amerion, who is currently serving as a Grand Advisor, as the new Minister Herald.
Starberry will also be nominating Izon for the position of Grand Commandant of the Guards, a post he has previously held. The post was vacated when Horse resigned from his position as Grand Commandant and Starberry was clearly prepared for this. Starberry will also be appointing an entirely new panel of court officials, which has been nearly cleared in recent times with the results of elections and other situations.
Andrew has won the position of Grandee Secretary, stealing it out from underneath the Church of Satan, who ran against him as an incumbent. Let it be clear, though, that the vote was 16-7 and the elections were fair. However, Andrew plans on bringing great change just as Starberry plans on doing so: bring an active and prosperous state to Lazarus. Andrew plans on using the power of being a Grandee Secretary to influence the government. This is a new stance Lazarus has seen on the post of Grandee Secretary, which was previously just a position of security, similar to Grand Advisors. The Church of Satan is expected to become a Grand Advisor, which aligns perfectly with his own views of the region.
After running unopposed, Altmoras secured the spot of Director of Ceremonies for a fresh term after winning the position in a special election that resulted after Starberry had to leave her post as Director of Ceremonies. Altmoras' plans align with the Sovereign and Grandee Secretary so it is not expected that there will be any conflicts within the government during this cycle.
Congratulations to all of the candidates that ran and won, and the Gazette would like to wish all candidates good luck in future endeavors. Do not be discouraged by not securing a position this cycle; there are many ways to get involved in the government! The Gazette is the perfect place to start if you're unsure of where to go.
STATEMENT FROM THE NEW SOVEREIGN
It became apparent to me, at around the time that Funk was writing his concession speech, that there was actually a chance I would win the delegacy. Prior to that point, I knew I was a strong candidate, but I had thought I would lose out to the experience of Funkadelia, or the much better crafted platform of Amerion. I did not expect, though I've been told that I should have, the overwhelming swell of support for my candidacy during the election. I am humbled by the trust that you have all put in me, and I will strive for the entirety of my term to prove to you that I am worthy of that trust.
To start with, and to make matters official, I hereby tender my resignation from the court; during my extraordinarily short tenure I was the primary author of one ruling; and it was a ruling that I felt was very important for us, as it concerned forum destruction, one of the most heinous acts that can be committed in NationStates. While I am not wholly satisfied with it; I can say that with the set of laws and definitions that we were working with, it was the best decision that we could come to.
With that out of the way, I want to officially thank Funkadelia, Amerion, Constie and Caldariat; in the long years that I have been playing NationStates, one of the many things that I have learned has been that winning an election always means more when you do so in the face of strong competition, and the four of you most certainly provided it. There was a wide breadth of ideas presented during the campaign, and while some were less fleshed out than others, the presence of those ideas and visions for the future gave the region a real choice in its direction. Which is something that very few regions, even those that claim to be democratic, can truly say is the case. The five of us should be proud, because in the end, regardless of who ended up writing the victory speech, Lazarus won.
I would now like to thank Loftegen; when you were first elected as a sovereign on a platform of "I don't intend to do much", I expected the absolute worst. I expected malaise and inactivity, I expected citizenship applications to be left sitting around for weeks at a time, I expected the worst you can possibly expect when an elected official tells you that the do not intend to do much. While not hard to do, you vastly exceeded the expectations that I had for you as sovereign. You were active, you got involved, and you presided over and helped contribute to the development of the most active sinker community in NationStates. Some abroad have criticized us for being mostly spam, which admittedly our activity is mostly spam, but when other sinkers can't even manage to drum that much up... it counts for something, and it speaks to the sense of community we've developed, and that you helped foster, that we keep coming back, day after day, for mindless spam games... and that more and more, we're stepping out beyond the borders of the Spam Zone and and have really begun breathing life into other areas as well.
This is a process that will continue. Shortly, I will be opening up applications for the position of Minister Steward, as well as to fill both my vacated seat, and the one which was previously filled by Amerion, on the court. I will not be opening applications for the position of Minister Herald, as I've already approached my first choice candidate, and gotten a positive reply. His nomination will be forthcoming soon. The positions of Minister Herald and Minister Steward are going to be very important during my term, and while not much has been expected of them previously, I will be holding those who end up in those positions to a very high standard.
My Minister Herald will be busy, at the start of the term, reviewing the massive amount of gameside embassies that we accumulated last term, and assisting me in deciding which of them are worth keeping, and which of them need to be removed. Activity within the regions themselves will be a primary criteria for this, but more important than their activity within their own region will be their willingness to actively engage with us. While silent partnerships are the norm on NationStates, and even the closest of allies can go for months, or even years, without a joint festival or cultural exchange of any sort that is not how I wish to conduct things; at the very least regions with whom we open gameside embassies must be willing to maintain an active forumside embassy with us as well. If they cannot commit to stoping by once every so often and letting us know what their region is up to on our forums, then I feel there is little reason or incentive for us to maintain our link to them. In the slightly longer term, the Minister Herald will be assisting me in reaching out to new regions, those that survive the embassy purge and others, in the hopes of forming new partnerships that will bring us increased security, stability, and activity, in the form of Mutual Defense Treaties, Cultural Exchanges, and various other treaties and agreements.
My Minister Steward, for that matter, will also be busy. Not only will he, or she, be responsible for making sure issues of the gazette are released in a timely manner, the Minister Steward will be responsible for planning and initiating at least one domestic festival during my first term, as well as coordinating with the Minister Herald to assist in the planning and actualization of at least one joint-festival with a friend or ally (provided that we can find someone willing to engage in one with us). I will not be accepting a rehasing of spam games with a festival twist, nor will I be accepting any half assed, last minute projects being pushed off as festival planning. This is a job that is going to require forethought, innovative planning, and out of the box thinking.
So; that is our gameplan for the start of the term. You can expect another of these speeches as the term progresses, to update you as to what we've accomplished. I am looking forward to an amazing term with all of you, and making Lazarus the best sinker in the game (which, really, it already is).
GRAND COURT ISSUES RULING ON GANG OF FIVE APPEAL
By Saeturn Valerius Liberalis
By Saeturn Valerius Liberalis
In May, after a long period of constitutional issues, legal arguments, and failed trials, the Grant Court of Lazarus finally issued a ruling in the criminal trial of the so called ‘Gang of Five’, a consortium of players that plotted to coup Lazarus in 2015. The Court convicted Stujenske, Feux, Pergamon, Milograd, and A Mean Old Man of various criminal charges, including subversion, conspiracy, and forum destruction.
Soon after, Emperor Pierconium of the Pacific submitted an appeal to the Grand Court contesting the charges of Forum Destruction against all members on trial. His appeal was filed as an interested party, contesting that the evidence of forum destruction was insufficient proof of guilt and that a serious ‘out-of-character’ label should not be applied to ‘in-character’ actions if there is not a strong enough link. The Court accepted the appeal and began a slow deliberation process.
Almost a month later, after a resignation and the appointment of new justice Starberry, the Court issued a second, and final, ruling. The reshuffled bench, though discarding the argument about in-character actions, decided that the editing of Mandate 8 by Stujenske during the coup did not substantiate forum destruction, but that the turning off of the PRL forums did, given that the action was committed to deny forum service to the people of Lazarus. Because this was done by one nation without evidence of collaboration with the other members, the charge of Forum Destruction was overturned for all of the accused except Feux, for whom the conviction of Forum Destruction was upheld. All five nations remain banned from Lazarus due to the other guilty convictions.
With the conclusion of the trial, Pierconium briefly thanked the Court for its ruling on his appeal, and the serving of justice was done. For many citizens, it was a great sigh of relief. The long regional nightmare of the violent betrayal by the New Lazarene Order and the legal fallout afterwards was finally over. No longer would citizens have to look over their shoulders in collective anxiety over the looming spectre of past traumas gone unrectified. Finally, the matter was done.
A week later, the Pacific Order issued an official statement taking responsibility and apologizing for the April 2015 coup of Lazarus. In it, all of the members of the Gang of Five except Pergamon were declared personae non gratae in the Pacific. Then-Sovereign Loftegen made an official statement accepting the Pacific’s apology.
RUMORS ABOUT THE LAZARUS ELECTIONS
(who is totally, positively, definitely, absolutely in no way a puppet of Loftegen)
(who is totally, positively, definitely, absolutely in no way a puppet of Loftegen)
A heavy summer snow was falling in Emerald Square; big, fat, round flakes that splattered -
"Hey, that's rain, dummy. Not snow."
I whirled to find myself face-to-face with Caldariat, Emerald Square's resident homeless lady.
"Don't you know it's impolite to interrupt an inner monologue?" I demanded, snow running down my face.
Caldariat had a bottle of soju in one hand. She took a big swig from it, while making a rude gesture at me with her other hand.
"Your final term is almost up," she slurred. "And I'm going to succeed you."
"Cal," I said, "I've told you before; you need a press pass to be a reporter." I emphasized my words by pointing to the plastic card tucked in the band of my snow-soaked hat.
"Reporter, my kimchi," Caldariat sneered. "You're Sovereign Loftegen! And I'm running for your job!"
"I'm not nearly handsome enough to be our universally adored Supreme Autocrat, Cal," I said.
Then, pointing behind her, "Hey, is that Hyuna?!"
"Hyuna! Where?!" When Caldariat turned to look, I calmly ran frantically away.
A safe distance later, I happened across famous street judge Amerion as he held court before a standing room only crowd of empty Night Train Express bottles.
"...and that is why paragraph two of clause five of section three of part one of the Mandate is un-Mandate-atory-tutional," the diminutive legal legend lectured the bottle by the bailiff in the dock.
"Hello, Amerion," I said.
"I'm not an Osiran deep cover agent!" Amerion shrieked, scattering his bottles and losing his 'Cormac fo' Lyfe' hat.
"Whoa! Never said you were. How are you?" I asked.
"Running for Sovereign!" the pint-sized pontificator proclaimed. "I'm gunning for your job, Loftegen!"
"I'm not Loftegen!" I shrieked. "You take that back, or I won't give you this!" I threatened, pulling out a full bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
"Did I say Loftegen? I meant Sepharist. I'm sorry, I've been under a lot of sobriety lately," Amerion explained.
"Apology accepted," I said, handing him the bottle. "I have to go. Tell Cormac I said 'hi'."
"Sure, whatever," Amerion answered, twisting the cap off his prize. I took that as my cue, and took my leave.
A man on a soapbox is always worthy of attention, and Funkadelia was no exception.
"Is that a genuine vintage Vladimir's Revolutionary Soap Flakes box?" I asked, having not seen one since the day before yesterday in the Socialist Workers Proletarian Hardware Store and Reading Room.
"INACTIVITY!" Funkadelia roared with, pointing an angry finger at me in an angry manner while glaring at me angrily.
"Pie?" I replied, startled.
"No, INACTIVITY!; and it's all your fault, Loftegen!" Funkadelia roared again, flailing to keep his balance.
"I am not our glorious and infallible Supreme Autocrat, Funk; I don't know why everyone keeps saying that," I said.
"It doesn't matter," Funkadelia said. "In a week I'll be re-elected Sovereign, and Lazarus will be saved from INACTIVITY!"
"Oh, you're running too?" I asked.
"I'm running ALSO!" Funkadelia bellowed, before getting hit in the face with a rainball thrown by a miscreant dressed like a reporter and falling off his soapbox into a puddle of snow.
"So you're running for Sovereign," I said.
Constie's thumbs flew across his smartphone as he stared into a virtual reality headset. At least I presume he was staring. He never took it off, so I never actually saw if his eyes were open.
"What?" he asked, jerking spastically.
"You're running for Sovereign?" I repeated.
"I am?" he asked, twitching violently.
"Are you?" I asked.
"Am I what?" he answered, ducking suddenly.
"Running for Sovereign?" I said.
"I've never played that one," Constie denied as he lurched to one side.
"It's not a game," I said.
"The leaves say that I will succeed you as Sovereign, Loftie," Starberry muttered mysteriously as she swirled her tea. I had sought shelter from the snow under the awning of her 'Starberry's Special Teas' cart, even ordering a cup of carefully crafted camomile to warm my snow drenched bones.
"Is everybody in the Emerald Square running to succeed our superlative Sovereign, Supreme Autocrat Loftegen, who for the last time is not me?" I demanded.
"No, just five of us," Starberry assured me.
"But you're going to win?" I asked.
"The leaves never lie," Starberry said, handing me her tea cup.
I looked into it. Sure enough, the tea leaf fragments at the bottom spelled the words 'Starberry will succeed Loftegen as Sovereign of Lazarus'.
"I don't know much about tasseomancy," I said, "But that is one detailed message."
"It's an art I learned from an old Gypsy woman called Grandma," Starberry related. "She taught me everything I know about hustling easy marks."
On a hunch, I looked into my own cup. My tea leaves also spelled out 'Starberry will succeed Loftegen as Sovereign of Lazarus'.
"What an amazing coincidence," I said.
"The leaves are truly mysterious," Starberry agreed.
I had to hurry. There was no time left, if I wanted to get out of the Emerald Square alive. Fortunately the bus pulled up right on time. Unfortunately, it was being driven by my arch-enemy, Rivercastle.
THE LAZARENE LIBERATION ARMY IS COMING HOME
After months of being on the field, mobile units of the Lazarus Liberation Army are finally returning home. With our newly elected Sovereign Starberry endorsement count getting ever closer to that of Loftgen. The LLA top brass decided that it was time to head back and assist with the transition at home. Besides, the growing complaints regarding the unsanitary living conditions in the LLA forward operating base at Spear Danes and Launching point seem to be getting louder. An unhappy veteran had this to say regarding the squalid living conditions.
"I don't even go to the bathroom anymore over there( Spear Danes). One time, I had to go in the middle of the night but the stench of used switcher puppets was just too much for me to handle."
When asked about returning to the LLA Barracks, the veteran had this to say:
"OH YES, I'M GLAD TO BE BACK. I'LL BE ABLE TO USE TOILET PAPER AGAIN. NOW GET OUT OF MY WAY! I HAVE A DATE WITH THE TOILET SEAT"
The veteran has not reported back since then.
A LETTER TO LOFTEGEN
One winter day, a nation named Loftegen ran for Sovereign. And he won, but not before contributing to the region for several years.
Loftegen has been with Lazarus since the times before the PRL, long, long ago. He quotes his time in the People's Republic, or should I say, the 'Commie Theme' -- "I ignored their endo cap and mocked them regularly, eventually Stujenske became delegate and banjected me," where his perseverant attitude is highlighted, no matter what happened.
Loftegen served various important government roles, before his first term as Sovereign, from January to March 2016. He particularly notes this first term as being quiet but pleasant. Our ex-sovereign helped reestablish relations with Balder, helped to improve our legal codes vastly, and within regional culture, helped establish the Lazies and a regional map. His second term was from March to June 2016, where he was reelected by a landslide -- being a hugely popular delegate. He achieved the court ruling of the Gang of Five and, as before, edited our mandate and wrote our new Mandate 10.
In my opinion, you've been the nicest Sovereign I've ever known, although the only other one I met was Stujenske. He also has contributed loads to the forum, having contributed over 13% total of the forum with thousands of posts.
Rest on your laurels, Loftegen. Thank you for being with us.
We thought you were a lady until a week ago.