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Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]

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Themiclesia
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Posts: 10652
Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:20 am

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February 12, 2020

TAF Unveils World’s Largest Avocado Toast
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Kien-k’ang • The Themiclesian Air Force today has acquired a citation in the Guinness Book of Records for producing the largest avocado toast in the world.

The snack is reportedly highly popular in the TAF, particularly with lemon zest and other aromatic herbs.

“The Guinness Book of Records recognizes the TAF’s avocado toast as the world’s largest, in terms of dimensions, weight, and quantity of ingredients,” the Association’s spokesperson remarked in an elaborate, avocado-green newsroom.

“The specimen consists of a four-foot-wide piece of toasted bread, 2,500 avocadoes, and the juices and zest of 100 lemons,” he described the culinary enormity.

This attempt at a world record follows a foiled attempt in recent memory. In 2012, the TAF attempted to make the world’s largest cotton candy, but due to a casual mention in a public house the idea was realized by the Union of Confectioners four hours before the TAF presented theirs to the public.

“This time, we have made sure there are no specialists in this area and classified the operations culminating in the giant snack as confidential,” the TAF’s host at the awards ceremony said. “An interdepartmental committee was appointed to oversee its conduction.”

Answering questions about the costs of this project, the TAF deflected the allegations of misuse of public money and officers’ time. According to them, every penny used in the snack’s creation was donated by TAF officers and men, and they worked on the project in their private time. They have taken to rent a private kitchen somewhere in the city so that they do not transgress the TAF’s kitchens at the garrisons where the committee sat.

“We hope to pay tribute to the snack that has become the staple of the Air Force for the past 5 years and to dispel the misconception that TAF dines on astronaut food out of toothpaste casings.”

The journalists attending the event were subsequently given a sliver of the magnified version of the TAF’s sustenance.

“It’s very soggy,” our correspondent resident with the TAF said.
Last edited by Themiclesia on Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Themiclesia
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Posts: 10652
Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:05 am

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March 31, 2020

What Ordinary People Say: "Pervet" Incident, Four Months Later

Kien-k’ang • In this new segment, we are covering the views of the ordinary people that our editors think deserve wider audience.

It has been four months since the Ministry of Defence has ordered the Marines to withdraw a highly-controversial response they made on Twitter to a militant group, the International Liberty Front (ILF), whom presently they engaged in Idacua. Themiclesia's marines have captured a number of the ILF's forces, prompting the latter to issue warnings over Twitter against the slightest violation of their rights as prisoners. In response, the Themiclesians called the ILF "perverts".

The matter quickly become controversial as the word "pervert" is locally used by certain commentators to characterize females who "dress in an attractive manner but will not tolerate male attention" as hypocrites. It is argued that the Themiclesians have used this word in this sense to assert that the ILF has a very spotty record about prisoners' rights and may not deserve the full gamut thereof.

Numerous women's groups have pointed out that the Themiclesians' tweet is highly offensive to women, since their bodily safety and reputation should not be impinged or controverted by reason of the exercise of their freedom to express. It is argued, by the same parties, that the very idea that an exposed female body attracts unwelcome solicitation or violation by males naturally or somehow to them awards carnal liberties, is a product of misogyny and sexism. The editors of this paper are inclined towards this view.

They also say that while Themiclesia has made great strides towards gender equality, the "taint of patriarchy" is unfortunately still present. Women's groups have declared a "final fight" to eliminate these "assumed liberties" and "historic misimpressions and injustices" last year, focusing on male celebrities and notables' misbehaviour.

Many Themiclesians have since spoken out about the outrage over this tweet, and this paper has covered a considerable number of analyses offered by authoritative and famous figures. But it is the purport of this segment to give stage to the views of the ordinary people—like you and us—that have cropped up.

This person, who is apparently a marine serving right now, wants nothing to do with the tweet:
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This tweet is from another, who cuddle up to him for his bravery in sticking it up to the employer's face:
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This marine advises that their official account is not to be trusted:
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And how can we forget this gem:
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Bacon has been dumped on Dr. Gwjang, lately Captain-general of Marines, for being a "chauvinistic pig"

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Sebrenskiya
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Founded: Oct 20, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Sebrenskiya » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:39 am

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Opinion: Why can't Sebrenskiya solve its disupte with Ostland?

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Sebrenskiyan M-84EOM-1 prepares to demonstrate its combat ability in 2011

PANCEVO, Sb - Since 1954, Sebrenskiya and Ostland have been hostile with each other over a dispute on the waterways which make up a large portion of the Sebrenskiyan-Ostlandic Border. This conflict threatens once again to break out to a war between Sebrenskiya and Ostland, as tensions rise far beyond even the 2005 incidents which saw Themiclesia step in to prevent conflict. Unprecedented cooperation occured between Ostland and Sebrenskiya in 2013, so to see that, in 2019, a single skirmish would lead to a rapid downspiral to war just seems to be a huge turn of relations between the states that shouldn't have been possible. In November, an attempt at peace talks between the two states turned sour quickly, accomplishing nothing but stoking more anger between the two parties.

The border is a warzone, and last month, on March 1st, Sebrenskiya seemed to resign the idea that the country would in fact be going to war by declaring War Condition 2, activating its reserves, and initiating Strategic Evacuation Plan Anna, an indication that its preparing to be involved in a long, bloody conflict with Ostland. Requirements to join are being lowered, and enforcing the conscription laws has been reconsidered at the highest levels of government. The question to all of this, and to any response the government has to this conflict going forward, is when did Sebrenskiyan diplomacy get so bad?

Allow me to explain. Sebrenskiya manages to have decent relations with the Vinyan Union despite protecting the aggressor against them in the 1970s. Well enough that Sebrenskiya announced that it placed troops under the command of the Vinyan Defence Coalition when the VDC invaded Vyzvha over repeated terrorist attacks in Tir Glas. Sebrenskiya was one of the voices in getting the Entente Cordial to reject Maracaibo's "Kerman Doctrine" after it lead to Maracaibo attacking coming to the military aid of Bakhirya, which was oppressing ethic minorities. Additionally, despite obvious ties to the Entente Cordial, Sebrenskiya holds good relations with Menghe, who has fought the Entente Cordial as recently as 2014.

These are all diplomatic accomplishments that aren't easy. Some of which are harder than solving a border dispute with a long term enemy. So why can't Sebrenskiya solve that? Is it moments of government blindness and anger? Is it a government who's hand is forced by fierce public opinion?

The latter doesn't seem to be true. Government actions, such as shutting down air ways and airports, have seem to shift public opinion, as opposed to the other way around. When the first skirmish happened in October, public opinion shifted to favorability to war with Ostland to 31%, up from 18% the week prior. As fighting got harsher on the border, public opinion actually dropped, down to 20% around late December. When Sebrenskiya closed down Pliska International Airport in January, public opinion again jumped to nearly 40%, and as Sebrenskiya raised defense spending and then declared a national emergency, war favorability jumped to 60%.

Relations continue to be tense, as Sebrenskiya has evacuated 5.8 million people and more plan to evacuate. There appears to be no end to the conflict in sight, and one thing is true: We are already at war with Ostland.


Comments:
codexblack · 3 hours ago
My brother was killed by the Ostlandic fascists in december! Kill them all!

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rising-sun-1943 · 3 hours ago
stupid casaporu haha... u fight wars over water... haha

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pp · 31 minutes ago
with all the guys gone we finally have a chance with the girls

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Themiclesia
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Posts: 10652
Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:04 am

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April 17, 2020

Themiclesia disestablishes 17 royal mausolea
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Kien-k’ang • From May 1, 2020, 17 royal mausolea from monarchs and their consorts spanning 485 to 1520 will lose their protective statutes and be available to researchers and a limited number of guided tourists.

The Liberal Party has stated that the upkeep of royal mausolea is “not a task without costs” and believes that their historicity is best shared with the scholarly community and the public.

“We think that if it costs public money, it should reward the public in some way. Hundreds of royal mausolea are still sealed off by walls and fences or are recognized as royal property, and that does not benefit taxpayers,” Nuk Hei MP said to this paper.

These changes are estimated to save around 580,000 m’rjing ($16 million Int’l) for the public purse.

Researchers will now apply to the Ministry of Culture for permission to excavate the royal tumuli. Previously, permission was granted by the House of Lords on a case-by-case basis, and some Conservative lords have been much less receptive of such requests.

“Partisan debate on the floor of this chamber is not what we believe should confront researchers hoping to recover information about Themiclesia’s past,” Liberal peer the Lord of Kaw wrote to this paper. “We think responsible archaeological work is not only beneficial to the international research community but brings the public closer to their monarch.”

“It is harrowing to think that what has been a capital offence only 200 years ago is now fully legal,” a legal historian said, “and it demonstrates the very profound changes that have occurred in Themiclesia in that space of time.”

Until 1853, when capital punishment was abolished, excavating a royal tumulus was a capital offence. Of course, such penalties were enacted to deter graverobbers after the rich treasures buried with each passing sovereign, and it was not always effective. Of the 42 royal tumuli that have been excavated, over 30 show some degree of penetration and disruption.

“Part of the government’s decision stems from a desire to protect the artifacts that might be at risk from further disruption,” the Lord of Kaw further reported.

In 2017, a group of graverobbers have managed to dynamite a 18 m hole into the tumulus of King Rjang of Kem, who reigned in the late 4th century.

“While early graverobbers were more interested in melting down the precious metals they recover from the tumuli, recent ones have realized that golden artifacts are more than worth their weight in gold,” Prof. Mu, researcher at the Western University told us. “On the one hand, we are thankful that they’re not melting down the gold goblets and jewelry they find, preserving them for the antiquities market rather than the banks or jeweler. On the other hand, finding these objects in their original contexts will be more fruitful from an archaeological and historical perspective. A lot of information is still lost if these artifacts are recovered from the market.”

Robbing a royal tumulus, which had been punishable by life in prison until 1954, was ameliorated to a maximal penalty of four years in prison, the same as robbing an ordinary grave. This was done so that graverobbers would not feel compelled to transform the objects they obtained to avoid easy detection, thereby destroying artifacts themselves.

The Palace was not available for comment. The Emperor is currently on a visit to foreign states; he is expected to give royal assent to the abolition of the statutes soon after he returns.

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Sebrenskiya
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Ex-Nation

Postby Sebrenskiya » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:30 am

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BREAKING: Sebrenskiya's Legislature Declares WAR on Ostland!

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Sebrenskiyan Artillery firing from moments ago

PANCEVO, Sb - The President has announced on Monday morning that the Republic of Sebrenkiya has declared that a state of war now exists against the Federal Republic of Ostland. The tensions between the two countries have rapidly escalated since an attack in September which led to the sinking of the SFA Trisk, and despite attempts at negotiation in November, the countries have still escalated to a war.

The Yugoslovenski Federal Times is receiving unconfirmed reports of massive artillery barrages on the southern border with Ostland, and the President announced a "pre-emptive mass assault" on the country of Ostland, claiming that Ostland had intended to invade Sebrenskiya on Thursday, 23rd April 2020, an act that the President called "irrefutable evidence" of the nation of Ostland's intentions.

The President has since flown to Turov, Letnia, but his travel planner was not available for comment. The station's military analysts suggest that the President is flying to Turov to secure assistance from Letnia. Below is the President's Speech:




"Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the responsibility of my office to inform you that our great Republic of Sebrenskiya has declared war on the Federal Republic of Ostland. For over a century, the People of Ostland have repeatedly tried to wipe our great nation from the face of the planet, and now, I regret to inform you, that they still intend to do such as that. On Thursday, our national intelligence had discovered a plan by the Federal Republic to launch a massive invasion of the Sebrenskiyan homeland, to weaken our resolve and attempt to force us into submission once again. The legislature and military are of agreement, as am I. We will not sit and wait for the Great Invaders to fight us in our homes, to fights us in our streets, to put our children and nation at risk of life. These plans are irrefutable evidence of the intentions of the Ostlandic people. Their unwillingness to negotiate is irrefutable evidence of the intentions of the Ostlandic people. Their dastardly attack against our great nation in September, to which many lives were lost, is irrefutable evidence of the intentions of the Ostlandic people. Their continuance to attack our nation and their lies on the global stage is irrefutable evidence of the intentions of the Ostlandic people.

Make no mistake, we will not sit idle to such a grave threat. They want to fight us in our homes, so we will fight them in theirs! They want to fight us in our streets, so we will fight them in theirs! They want to drive us from our homes, so we will show them that we are an unmovable nation! Their hostilities got them defeated and crippled in the 1940s, and they've shown that they've learned nothing! A United Sebrenskiya is a sebrenskiya! A nation united in its struggle to push back the imperialist invaders, to protect our livelihood, to protect our children, can never be defeated! Ostland will learn that we will no longer be bullied! We will no longer submit! They want to reach and grab what is ours, so will cut off their hands! Long Live Sebrenskiya! Long Live the Republic! And down with the fascist invaders!"


Comments:
codexblack · 3 minutes ago
LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC!

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rising-sun-1943 · 3 minutes ago
oh shit these people actually crazy

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hanzelandgretel · 3 minutes ago
You call us the invaders as you invade us?

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Themiclesia
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Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Tue May 05, 2020 8:20 pm

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May 5, 2020

Themiclesia's navy comes face-to-face with grisly past

Kien-k’ang • Today, the Defence Secretary and the senior-most admiral Admiral Bon snipped the ribbons on a new museum in Tonning especially themed for the Maritime Cult, which was practiced by many Themiclesian seamen for centuries before dying out in the mid-19th c.

The museum is to have a staff of five, with three civilian curators and two tour guides from the navy itself. The running costs of this establishment is expected to be defrayed partly by ticket money and partly by subvention, but a grant has been set aside for its use too.

In 1958, scholars first proposed a museum to house all the naval artifacts that have been recovered not only in Themiclesia, but also through various excavations in Meridia where Themiclesia's fleet has been present in archaeologically-significant timescales. Such artifacts, wherever and whenever recovered, have been placed in local museums where they are frequently deprived of context or even given inaccurate or outdated interpretations.

However, the government then prioritized different matters and never ordered the navy to proceed with a declaration of the artifacts in its warehouses, which scholars have demanded for some time. Antiquarians have long suspected that the navy was delinquent in the care of relics, and these fears were confirmed in 1971, when an independent commission of experts was invited to survey the navy's collections. Wooden items in the logs were found decadent or missing, while metals were rusted beyond recognition.

"Nevertheless," Dr. Ko said, "we are thankful that it has always been the custom of government agencies to collect remarkable items, both as mementos and as accompanying evidence for documentation. In the royal archives, we have also found hundreds of valuable objects that have been submitted by the navy, between the 12th and 18th centuries, as examples of what reports described. Amongst them are several cannon balls used by the Yi Menghean fleet, which defeated the Themiclesian one in 1325. These are, with a considerable likelihood, the very first cannonballs used anywhere in naval combat."

However, the most eye-catching aspect of the museum is its collection of artifacts that retell the Maritime Cult. The Cult regularly practiced blood sacrifices of both humans and animals and was strongly condemned as barbaric by various voices for centuries. Scholarly discussion have characterized its abatement as a process of civilization for the early Themiclesians themselves, but since the 1900s other conclusions have been drawn.

"Themiclesia was not a country as uniform as some canonical documents suggest," Prof. Hi of the Western University wrote to us. "Prior or contemporaneous to the Meng people's settlement, there have been other cultures present, and we now think the Maritime Cult was a derivative of those customs that have been levelled by the cultural propagation from the Tsjinh-area, where the capital city was and still is."

She also said that the first seagoing navy was organized not by the Tsjinh state, which gave its name to Themiclesia, but the Kem state, which was understood to be influenced by "barbarous customs". It should be noted that the Tsjinh state itself also practiced human sacrifice until the start of the Common Era. Kem's religion is now a contested subject, and the degree to which it has been influenced by aboriginal faiths, which are connected to those found in Nukkumaa, is only now being discovered. Yet the Kem state was politically subjugated to the Tsjinh state in 256 and gradually lost its autonomy thereafter, until Rjang (successor state of Tsjinh) deposed its ruling house in 502, and other forms of worship did likewise to local cults.

"But the local cult was preserved by seafaring customs for reasons which are yet unclear. This would mean that Themiclesian sailors were practicing a cult influenced by aboriginal cultures that have unfortunately been lost to us forever. Cultic activities stand to provide us with a lot of information, and these activities are described in vivid though perhaps sensationalist detail by travellers," she said.

Amongst the artifacts displayed at the museum are several sails with brown borders, dating back 1,000 years or more. Analysis of this brown colouration reveals it to be ox blood, and antiquarians interpret this as a continuation of the m'rjer rite, which involved smearing new vessels with sacrificial blood as inauguration or dedication. In other words, early Themiclesians thought that sails needed to be dedicated to the gods, in manner like tripods and other bronzes in temples, which were public buildings that connected clans by their ancestry.

Comparisons with buildings do not end there. Descriptions from the 5th and 6th centuries also provide that Kem's shipwrights used humans as victims at certain points of ships' construction, which was rumoured in Tsjinh, Kem's long-standing adversary, to invulnerate their ships to the waves. In the museum, several headless skeletons were marked as recovered from ancient dry docks, and authorities in the field cite the location, burial position, and victim age as evidence to connect them with local customs of decapitating and burying an adult or child in situ as guardian of a large public building.

"Obviously, it was not possible to bury a victim in a ship, so we think they were buried in the shipyards as a substitute," Prof. Mro told us. "Even though Themiclesians practiced secondary burial at that point, proximity to an decaying body that has not been placed in a sarcophagus or other ritualistic contexts was thought to be polluting."

Even recently, Tyrannians and Sieuxerrians noted that Themiclesian sailors were usually barefood onboard, and removing shoes was an important part of a ritualized transition from exterior to interior.

A boulder on display has metal hooks and loops set into it, attracting few onlookers. However, the museum staff explained that this is evidence for one of the most sinister aspects of the Maritime Cult, at least with modern values in mind. Apparently, whenever the fleet set sail, four victims would be fastened to it and eviscerated; it was believed that the victims' screams approximated the sound of gusts that propelled the fleet. This was called the trak rite, which was also a method of execution in later eras. The Maritime Cult was managed by a special office in the military navy when that was set up in the 9th century, and state intervention appears to have mellowed some of the grislier of the religion, substituting animals sacrifices for humans.

An annexe of the building is dedicated to the worship of Venus, which the Marines are known to have professed up to about the end of the 17th century. Scholars take interest of this cult as it appears to be introduced from Meridia, not native to Themiclesia, like the broader Maritime Cult was thought to be (though this has also been nuanced by researchers as stated above). Venus, in Themiclesia, was known as the Morning Star and Evening Star, though their identity was discovered by Themiclesian astronomers before the Maritime Cult arose.

However, its veneration and spiritual position as a source of magic and salvation was more similar to the faith of some Meridian peoples prior to the spread of the Shahidic faith in the 7th century. Stone and metal tablets, inscribed with a kite-like sigil, are emblematic of the venereal cult. Dozens of amulets adorned with this image are displayed at the facility, and one was even hewn into a piece of hull. Received accounts penned by travellers on naval ships (which sometimes took civilian travellers) recount that 15th-century marines were awe-struck by the sheer size and brightness of Venus, and folk tales amongst them speak of an afterlife: once the sun sets, the Evening Star relit the sky, rekindled life, and remade the faithful as one of the stars in the night sky, never to drown again.

Historians provide that the first marines were merchants who settled in Meridia (in Portcullia, most likely) but still retained metropolitan connections, ordered to take up arms in support of their national fleet. Once a naval battle was over, they were dismissed. Such a system, then, explains why a Meridian religion would meld with Themiclesian astronomy.

"One of the key objectives of this museum is to complicate what it means to be Themiclesian," the curator Dr. Mro said. "Themiclesia's naval ventures were a major interface or intersection through which cultures interact, frequently varying on the individual level. These exhibits will show that the Themiclesian navy isn't so 'Themiclesian' after all, if you take a limited, static view of what Themiclesia is like."

"In our employ, we must place public interests above personal affects," Admiral Bon said just before snipping the cordon, "but for these people who are so long gone, we believe it is most appropriate to honour their memory by co-operating with scholars in this field and placing their stories and feelings first, before national colours are pinned on their backs."

The fall of the Maritime and Venus cults came in the 17th and 18th centuries, when some Casaterran nations placed hitherto-unseen strains on its empire, which was quite multicultural.

"The place we now called Themiclesia was called the Demesne Land and did not have a proper name of its own, and this shows about how ancient people thought of public life and relationships with political authority. The Demesne Land was where you paid taxes to a bureaucracy, rendered labour and military service, and obeyed administrators' instructions. Kem, Sjin, and Pjang each possessed distinct cultures, and the earliest seagoing navy was built and crewed by a people historically opposed to the canonical, political Themiclesia represented by the Tsjinh. Other groups like nomadic or ethnic minorities negotiated their treaties defining their relationship with the court in Kien-k'ang. In Meridia, cultural Themiclesians who spoke no Shinasthana and never saw the Demesne Land were pressed into the fleet as the earliest marines, and they frequently munitied in protest of their treatment. Even foreigners were defined in terms of their relationship with the royal court, rather than their cultural heritage or political nationality. Yet all these people have made concrete contributions in shaping this country that we now know. Themiclesia was a blurry entity difficult to assign to which a lot of concrete meaning," the brochure at the door said.

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West Atlantia
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Founded: Sep 13, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Labour takes lead in historic election

Postby West Atlantia » Sun May 10, 2020 3:52 am

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LABOUR TAKES THE LEAD

In a shock upset for the moderates the 32 year-old Labour MP for Avallone-Central Emer White has been selected to head the next parliament as leader of the largest party in coalition with the Liberal Party and the Green Party. The Moderate Party lost a total of thirty-eight seats during a night of continual upsets in one of the largest political shifts in decades. The Liberal Party is now the junior partner in the coalition for the first time in over ten years whilst this is the first time that the Green Party have supported the coalition.

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Ms. White met with HRH The Queen on Saturday with her recommendations for the cabinet, with The Queen giving her universal assent.

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Ms. White before meeting the queen, "Times are changing and so are we"

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Themiclesia
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Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:10 am

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May 31, 2020

Protest turns out before the Tor gate against Menghe’s human rights records

Kien-k’ang • In the historic Sk’ên-ljang Palace, about 500 protesters have gathered this morning, holding banners and signs that denounce the Menghean government’s want of accountability and disregard for human rights.

“Shame on Choe Sŭng-min,” one of the protestors said. “The man is rotten since childhood and likely will be on his deathbed, which is hopefully not far from present. He does not deserve to rule Menghe.”

The Globe learns from one of the demonstrators that a considerable portion of their ranks are second- or even third-generation immigrants from Menghe, who arrived on Themiclesian shores between 1900 and 1970.

“In the more recent past, Menghean people have immigrated for a variety of reasons. Two of them are political stability and economic opportunity, and the two are frequently conjunct to each other,” Prof. Ku of the Army Academy says.

“Even here in 1900, many adults had no vote, and prime ministers, accountable to parliament as they were, rose from a privileged peerage. Most of us know that the prime ministers since 1845 were the Lord of Rjai-ljang, Lord of G'or, Lord of Sng'rja', Lord of Nja-'rjum, Lord Tl'jang-mjen, Lord of M'i, Lord L'ong-mjen, Lord of Snur-ljang, Lord of Krungh, Lord of Rjem-'an, and Lord of Mik to 1910.” Ms. Mu, the congregation’s chair proclaimed. “As it will emerge, all of these people, even those that governed in the House of Commons, benefited enormously from their inherited titles of nobility. Some scholars argue that Themiclesia was not a democracy until 1885.”

“We shall not forget that it is possible, and we can make it work in Menghe. We know this because it has worked, and Mengheans have made it work. These beliefs are those that will bring an end to Choe's autocratic rule.”

“Neither should we forget that half of the Themiclesian parliament consisted of unelected peers many of whom did not merit an unaccountable seat in the country's legislature, and the other half of parliament was elected on hereditary privileges, money, and other forms of corruption. Themiclesian governments existed on the balance of these two things. In contrast, the Namyang constitution of 1874 made it clear that the chief executive was responsible to the elected house, and that in my view is more progressive than in Themiclesia, where the elected house's dominance was not clearly established until 1952.”

“There is a lot of misconception going on in Menghe right now, disseminated by the Party,” Ms. Mu addressed the crowd. “They think democracy is a Western ideology. The West is portrayed as an enemy in Party propaganda, and its ideology must therefore be hostile. Its millieu must also be incompatible with Menghe. They think that accountability exposes them to the West. They think democracy is different from them.”

“In 1989, the Menghean government invited some of us back home, with the promise of amnesty. Some of us have returned with glad hearts, perhaps with the hope of seeing home for one last time. Some of us have been guilt-tripped into thinking leaving Menghe was unpatriotic or otherwise wrong. The world and we soon learned of the true nature of Choe’s dictatorship, not more than ten years thence.”

Menghean immigrants were not the only individuals present at the protest. The Dayashinese diaspora and self-identified natives were also represented. They appear to be equally enthusiastic about the message of the protest, speaking together and holding the same banners and signs.

“Cynics in Themiclesia often pass comment on immigrants who don’t sing the national anthem, but that is not a problem,” Mr. Kra, who said he’s a “pedigree Themiclesian”, told us. “Most of us don’t sing it. Our anthem deserves scrutiny and can’t represent all of us, and if it did, it is a personal choice. Refusal should not subject to compulsion, denormalization, or prejudice.”

“The historical lesson is quite clear in my view. Living standards rose during the Federal Republic, went down in the subsequent Empire, and troughed in the war the latter waged,” Mr. Nakaya replied to our questions, if he was optimistic for democracy in Menghe. “They rose again during the second Republic and fell to a pre-industrial level to fight a war that existed only in Sim Yong-hwan’s delusion. That tends to happen when everything served the interest of a small oligarchy.”

The assembly dispersed around five in the afternoon, with the singing of the Aegukga, the anthem of the Federal Republic of Menghe. The FROM was toppled by military strongman Kwon Chong-hoon in 1928.
Last edited by Themiclesia on Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Themiclesia
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Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:20 am

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Jun. 5, 2020

Parade Cancelled After Soldiers Faint

Kien-k’ang • Members of the 240th Mechanized Regiment were seen fainting while standing in formation in Botanical Park, in Dam County, this afternoon. The regiment has announced to the press that the sweltering heat that day made parading a “considerable hazard”, and the parade will be postponed indefinitely.

Ambulances were summoned to the site, and fourteen soldiers were thereby whisked away to a nearby hospital, witnesses of the event, from the modest crowd that turned out for it, told this paper.

“Not every one of them collapsed,” a Mr. Kwang, who paced around the park that morning, said.

The regiment is to investigate whether there had been any culpable faults that occurred this morning, concentrating on whether it was appropriate to parade in such climate.

“We will give every step we took to bringing our people out our most concerted review and determine, with the Ministry’s [of Defence] direction, whether any policy and regulatory alterations are required,” Mu, colonel of the regiment, said to this paper. “The fainted soldiers are now in good hands and stable condition. We advise the public that no parade will occur until the matter has been gone through very thoroughly and meteorological authorities consulted.”

The Ministry of Defence has not made comment at this time.

“The soldiers were wearing dark wool, knee-length coats and velvet hats under the baking sun,” Ms. Kun told us. “I could see the sweat dripping off the brims of their hats. I shouldn’t have though to wear that in this weather, especially not for two hours without rest.”

The 240th wore its frock coats over two waistcoats and a dress shirts, with collars closed by a cravat, our military analyst provides. The ensemble dates to 1845, and the regiment retained its heritage uniform through the Pan-Septentrion War and its latest deployment.

The hats were Breton caps that, by-and-large, only pre-war professional regiments wore. It is billed the “old guard hat” by new units raised during the PSW. For units that have it, the hat is frequently a cherished article, though some commentators say they look silly on soldiers.

The 240th is not the only unit with this uniform design. The 132nd and 282th do as well, plus some units of the Royal Signals Corps, which was effectively its own army in the Far East. In fact, it was the default design adopted by infantry regiments between 1835 and 1910. The Marines also have it, despite not then considered an infantry regiment.

“The frock coat ensemble was the business suit of the 19th century,” our military correspondent said. “When 19th-century people looked at units wearing them, they saw an image of civility and professionalism. This uniform was to them what a three-piece suit is to us.”

The hospital provided that the soldiers suffered from heat stroke and dehydration and will be discharged in due time.

“There had been an accidental delay with the local authorities, since we wanted to start at ten in the morning,” the regiment averred in the day. “They told us that the field in the park was reserved for seniors’ use until the afternoon, which is why our men were standing without shade. We had not considered the physiological impact caused by standing in uniforms in this climate. For that, the Regiment sincerely apologizes to the men who suffered due to poor co-ordination and will see to their full recovery. Better planning will ensue when the parade is next scheduled.”

We are also told that the Surgeon-general of the Army has been notified of the incident, and further studies follow.
Last edited by Themiclesia on Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Themiclesia » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:21 pm

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Jun. 5, 2020

Uniform subsidies to be raised by up to 40% in FY2021, MoD says

Kien-k’ang • "Maintaining a presentable appearance has been the tradition of many units," Mr. Krjong, the MoD's spokesperson, said in a press conference today. "We intend to make sure that the costs of that appearance is not unfairly saddled on servicepersons. Starting next fiscal year, subsidies will be increased by between 6 and 40 percent, reflecting changing prices of uniforms."

As early as 2002, some voices in the department have noted that the costs of dress uniforms varies considerably from unit to unit. While no official statistic was collected at that time, ballpark figures in the 402nd Armoured Brigade place annual clothing expenses at about $950 per capita, of which $670 is covered by public coffers. Costs have ballooned to $1,700 by last year, but public subsidies have remained at the same level, effectively making the rest a salary deduction.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has kept up with its tradition of issuing uniforms free of charge.

It is well-known that several units require personnel to approach tailors to make their dress uniforms, who would then bill the Exchequer for costs. This is true for the aforementioned 402nd, the 108th Airborne Brigade, the Marines, and the Air Force Regiment, plus some 52 other units of varying sizes. Most of them require tailoring for only formal dress codes.

"Having to spend money to maintain my unit's visual distinctiveness is not an ideal expenditure in my book," Sergeant Mu of an undisclosed unit told this paper. "I will reserve my unit's name in case I am questioned."

There are some accounts of recruits making their selections based on expected ancillary expenses like uniforms and regimental trips and events. For professionals like physicians and electricians, there isn't much choice, except for the arm of service like between the navy and army; however, ordinary sailors and soldiers faced with a choice between units or vessels of similar profile often take such factors into account.

"One change over the years is that the tailoring business is on the decline in Themiclesia," Captain Go told us. "That means fewer tailors available to make the same myriad of dress uniform designs that have been established by parliament, some more than 100 years ago."

"I am also told that tailors often throw out their templates after their businesses shut down, so their clients would have to ask for retemplating at new tailors," he said.

Sundry units, historically centering in the infantry, still mandate frock coats as part of dress uniform. But frock coats have not been generally worn in civilian society for many decades, which means tailors often decline such orders presented by servicepersons.

"Amongst the forces there is an app with a directory for places to order your uniforms, and the list of tailors is dwindling. Those still in operation are raising their quotes, due to unfamiliarity with uniforms," the Mu (above) said. "When I first enlisted in 2007, a full uniform cost me $1,700; today, that figure could be as high as $3,000, depending on the tailor's mood."

"We don't think we are making unreasonable quotations to our clients," Mr. Po, who manages C&W Tailors in Kien-k'ang, replied to Mu. "We cannot retain specialists to service the minute volume of uniforms orders. Furthermore, many units demand combinations of facings, linings, and collars that are rarely encountered today."

"To give an example, the 240th Foot Regiment requires chased grey wolf fur on its over-frocks. Not only are associates qualified to cut over-frocks difficult to find, chasing wolf fur is an antiquated process. We have to import the pelt, inspect it, and send it to a reputable tanner for that specific treatment. We sometimes have to source these materials and skills from scratch, if a client orders a uniform from a unit new to us."

"With respect to Sergeant Mu's orders, we have made very substantial discounts. Below it, we fear we will not be able to accept his business."

"Historically, regiments often formed relationships with tailors or guilds of tailors to source their uniforms," Prof. Kjo of the Pond University says. "This ensured for the tailor a consistent source of clients and predictable quantities of materials to procure. It was a mutual relationship between officer, soldier, and tailor, though it was also frequently collusive. Officers received kickbacks from tailors, who inflated costs to the serviceperson with no second option."

"In 1910, the Liberals campaigned to wipe out this sort of corroborative malfeasance. Regimental uniform contracts were forbidden. From that point, servicepersons had to seek out their own tailors, with the expectation that open competition would drive down prices. And it has, for several decades."

"However, as tailored clothing declined after the PSW, servicepersons have again had to contend with a dwindling number of tailors competing for their business, and these tailors also have a dwindling supply of expertise and materials to fulfill it."

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Postby Themiclesia » Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:31 pm

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Jul. 13, 2020

Drill sergeants to submit petition for verbal abuse and workplace discrimination

Kien-k’ang • The Drill Sergeants’ Support Society (DSSS) has publicly announced today that a petition with 530 member signatures is to be dispatched to the desk of the Defence Secretary. His office is not at this time available for comment.

“There is a conspiracy afoot in the Themiclesian forces right now,” Colonel Mu speaks to this paper, “all the departments are placing drill sergeants’ requests and queues at lowest priority, including the exchequers. This means that drill sergeants’ salaries are paid out almost three months late, their computers get fixed last, and their requisitions are considered after all the money is rationed out.”

“The mess people eject us from lunch queues and make sure the newest recruit, the kitchen staff, and even the people in detention get fed first, then we get the leftovers,” Bugh says, “the commissars double- and triple-check our identity papers under the assumption that we are civilians trying to get at the discounts.”

“Our applications to move holidays around are, statistically speaking, the least likely to be approved,” Bugh continued, “and I have also been told by others in my position that on official business, we are never given any allowances for creature comforts like an upgrade to business class seats, when such are forthcoming for many other kinds of servicepersons.”

“When recruits dress us down for no good reason, we find that our complaints are met with scorn, disdain, or administrative stupor,” Hrak told us in writing, telling us that he does not wish to be named. “I think this is a form of workplace discrimination, since most of us did not choose this job.”

The matter with drill sergeants in Themiclesia is not a novel one.

In 1987, the Ministry of Defence ordered that drill sergeants must not make fun of another serviceperson’s physical characteristics, especially passing comment on height, weight, or complexion. “Instruction is to be limited to what is manifestly obtainable for the recruit and not include any comment peripheral to the discharge of military duties as set forth by statute or other instruments of a similar character.”

Earlier, in 1962, Sgt. ‘O-ljang was dismissed from office for viciously berating a male recruit “be less of a woman” in the presence of a female officer. He was re-instated the following year after a public statement of contrition. This matter shocked the petty officers of the Consolidated Army, who were keen on using their methods to produce the toughest soldiers when Maverica was threatening invasion.

The MoD has made several studies about the efficacy of training techniques employed by drill sergeants, many of whom at that time were leftovers from the Pan-Septentrion War, when speed to complete a recruit’s training was critical. However, these studies suggested that comments about sex and nationality were amongst the most injurious and least likely to give rise to any positive effect.

“I think I speak for most of us when I say that we have nothing except the benefit of the recruit and efficiency of the force in mind,” Hrak said. “Every recruit is different, but there is a common degree of toleration for stress and adversity that needs to be in every accomplished soldier. Some recruits show a natural aptitude for military life, and others need introduction and guidance to it.”

“We all strive to understand each recruit individually and resolve problems that could endanger themselves or their comrades in their future careers.”

“The people that push in and leave us to the end of the queue and with nothing but celeries, carrots, and turnips from the pot-au-feu should have this in mind: we don’t ask to be loved, but we have made fair contributions to most, if not all, soldiers’ careers.”

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Postby Themiclesia » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:08 pm

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Jul. 13, 2020

Remembering the Lord of Srong-sngrjar (1897 – 1990)

Kien-k’ang • On this day thirty years ago, ‘Ap, the Lord of Srong-sngrjar died at the age of 92. Even though his premiership was less than two decades away, his death barely made the news. Despite being a peer, he could not afford a lavish funeral, which was a quiet affair between his family and the few that understood the challenges of being a member of a privileged class in this century.

After the Pan-Septentrion War, the Conservative Party won the 1947 election and ended the national-unity government that had existed since 1936. They campaigned on a platform of government-funded reconstruction and welfare, contrasting with the Liberal commitment to divert money to war-torn businesses and factories.

Unbeknownst at that time, this was the last Conservative government to rely on both the upper and lower houses, in roughly equal measures, for political support. This system was first established by the Lord of Krungh in 1894 to balance two scales—general and aristocratic interests, as well as urban and rural development—and unite the hitherto scattered Conservatives. Thus, in contrast with the progressive but often erratic Liberals, they exhibited a very moderate platform (which consisted of very few general themes) that scooped up the votes whenever the Liberals experienced policy setbacks.

The party’s marriage to administration was traditional. Many peers arranged for their children to become bureaucrats. This was no accident in the foray into social policy in 1895; Conservative leaders and peers, with an aura of public service, aligned with the “caring state” that held revolution at bay, while protecting their sectoral interests as much as possible, in industry and agriculture. The fact that the party, aside from promising poor relief funded by a tax on commercial revenues, had basically no public commitments, has garnered Liberal derision that it was “a party of people, not a party of ideas and actions.”

The Lord of Srong-sngrjar entered the Foreign Office as a young man in 1925, with a degree in international history hot off the press. During the war, he became a military officer, but most of his work was plainly not done by himself. About this he was frank, making no secret of his inactivity as an army captain and then major in 1940. His colleagues in the Foreign Office still sometimes sought his opinion in writing when he was technically fighting, but he resigned his commission in 1943 to return to diplomatic service.

In the Conservative government formed in 1947, he was given a junior minister’s portfolio, though his father’s (then the sitting peer) involvement was indispensable. But it was after the actual end of mobilization in 1949 that he began to shine. When the Conservative government was disintegrating amidst a torrent of malfeasance allegations, he somehow extricated himself and obtained an appointment to Anglia, enabling him to continue diplomatic work. He was involved in many negotiations between Anglia and Themiclesia, as a right-hand-man of the ambassador.
In 1960, the Maverican government was overthrown, placing his country at the very forefront of an anti-communist alliance. In 1957, his father passed away and left the seat in the upper house to him, though he did not take the seat until 1959, when he returned from his posting in Anglia.

Though the Conservatives since the early 1900s have accommodated many socialist or socialist-leaning leaders, the diplomatic reality of Maverican hostility helped stabilize the Liberal government that was wallowing and enable it to launch an all-out assault on the left wing of the Conservative Party.

Now with a seat in Parliament, Srong-sngrjar aligned with the moderates and roundly refuted Liberal “sensationalism”, saying that the differences between Themiclesia and Maverica are diplomatic, not ideological. He further said that many communist parties exist without destabilizing a democratic political order. In 1963, he led a Conservative reprisal on the news media that any attempt to connect the Conservative Party with Maverican revolutionaries was a “gross and Liberal manipulation of facts, a slander, and a grotesque attempt to resuscitate a government with poor public opinion and regard for the working classes”.

Nevertheless, the Liberals secured another majority in the 1963 general election despite resolved refusal to implement a five-day workweek. In this period, the House of Lords experienced a revival of political importance as far as the Conservatives were concerned, where accusations of communist sympathy or connection were not a threat to the seat. This was a clever political manoeuvre, because the House of Lords was criticized as reactionary as recently as 1952, a sure bulwark against communist revolution.

Srong-sngrjar thus led the Conservative peers in opposition to the Liberal government, which was desperate to achieve full employment to avoid the development of socialist sympathies. Thus, in lieu of implementing a five-day week, the Lords pressed for a 50-hour cap, which would still permit employers to decide how best to utilize labour without permanently taking Saturdays away from production. However, the right wing of the Liberals split off in 1968 to form the Progressive Party, with the result of a moderate Liberal government, with only a plurality in the Commons, coming into power that year.

Sensing the turning of the tide, Srong-sngrjar allied with Commons Conservative magnate Ben Ko and forced an election in 1971, in which they won a minority too. This would be the first time the Conservatives returned to power in 19 years, the longest they have ever been out in the cold. Srong-sngrjar, for his diplomatic experience, was to become foreign secretary. But before the new Government was formed, Ben Ko suddenly died of a heart attack at home, on June 9, 1971, leaving Srong-sngrjar the senior-most member of the Government.

With only a few days to spare before the Liberal government’s resignation, the parliamentary party decided against selecting a new prime minister in the short term and endorsed Srong-sngrjar, due to his experience, credentials, and political history. As soon as the new Opposition observed what occurred, their outcry would haunt Srong-sngrjar’s government for the rest of its brief existence between June 1971 and May 1972.

Srong-sngrjar had almost no public profile and became an easy target for both the Liberals and Progressives to attack, though their lines have shifted since the early sixties from belligerent anti-communism to a more conventional one against hereditary privilege, claiming it dampens the spirit to pursue success if some men had it “in the family name”. The prime minister wrote on a newspaper that his premiership was far from “inherited” as the Opposition claimed.

However, when pressed by the Liberal press whether he could declare his premiership to have nothing to do with his seat in the Lords, which was definitely hereditary, he was unable to outwit skeptics. This is an accusation hard to overcome, as he had no history as an elected MP and only rose to political prominence from diplomatic work, through his seat in the upper house.

As early as October 1971, the Progressives have called upon the prime minister to resign and make way for an elected or at least non-hereditary upper house, if he could not satisfy that his present power has no basis in hereditary privilege. Srong-sngrjar repulsed this on the grounds that, constitutionally, a prime minister was like any other minister, and the home secretary in the previous Liberal administration, the 7th Lord of Ran, was himself also a peer. This was also a jab at the Liberal claim that Themiclesia should adopt a written constitution that

In November, he assured the public that their elected representatives are “satisfied by his premiership and will support it in the voting lobbies.” Despite this outwards confidence, many Conservative MPs were concerned about their own electoral position the party leader was so viciously attacked in the press.

Next month, the finance secretary that also served as Government leader in the Commons also resigned without warning. Gossip was afoot that he ran into trouble with Srong-sngrjar for not defending the administration or implying that a new leader was forthcoming in the Commons, where debate about the prime minister’s legitimacy was much more heated; however, this was never confirmed by any evidence.

The Progressive leader Sak Nji started calling the administration the “caretaker government”, implying that ab initio it was never meant to last and criticized the prime minister to be holding onto power beyond what was normal or acceptable. The prime minister, then, returned fire saying that the Conservative Party has chosen a prime minister legally, and criticism of this kind is “dangerous”.

After a brief interlude in early 1972, some surveys say that Sak’s inflammation had taken effect, despite the government’s achievements in securing a five-day workweek and a maximum of 45 hours during that period. However, this would not commence in effect until mid-1973, according to the negotiations between the Federation of Labour Unions and the Board of Commerce.

In February 1972, when a general election looked increasingly likely to break the minority government, he was questioned whether he would stay as party leader during the coming general election. Initially, he dismissed it out of hand, saying that the government had a stable relationship with the Liberals on key matters; however, other senior figures in the party persuaded him that if he led a successful general election, his legitimacy as prime minister would be strengthened immensely.

Before the election even took place, his statement about a stable relationship between the Government and the Liberals was proven false—the opposition united in April, forcing an immediate general election.

When campaigning was underway, he was asked, in the event of a Conservative victory, would he make way for an elected prime minister or elect to remain leader. He replied that, even with a minority outcome, he would feel confident to lead the party to continue the platform that was cut short by “an unfortunate misunderstanding with the Liberal Party”.

During the election, the Progressives advertised heavily that Srong-sngrjar was “neither elected nor expected to become prime minister”, which caused some scholars to consider the possibility of future prime ministers from the House of Lords and how would their mandate be confirmed, especially after the Liberals have greatly increased the powers of the premier during the war.

However, these speculations were futile. The polls showed that Srong-sngrjar had lost the party the election, regardless whether Conservative MPs recognized his leadership. Resigning immediately after losing the election quite horribly and burying the chances of a Conservative revival after 19 years in the wilderness, the party recalled the ousted finance secretary as its real caretaker leader, for a period of 23 days before the handover to the Liberals.

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Postby Themiclesia » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:51 am

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Aug. 21, 2020

The Lord of Rjon's disastrous visit to Idacua


Kien-k’ang • On July 30, the Liberal peer and lord of appeal emeritus the Lord of Rjon made a scheduled visit to Idacua, meeting the two units of Themiclesia's anti-drug cartel deployment there.

Rjon first met the 232nd Company of the Royal Signals Corps, which stood in a line to welcome the peer that the Government decided was too quiet and desperately needed some airtime. It is rumoured, however, that Rjon's secretary, who carried a brief about the questions Rjon was advised to ask, was taken queer upon eating local cuisine. Rjon's unscripted interactions included the following gems:
Q: I recall that my father was colonel of the 290th Foot; are you serving in this unit?
A: I don't think so, my lord.

And Rjon walked over to the next man and pressed with the same question, and then the next, until an officer of the company caught up with him and whispered something in his ear. We do not know what was said, but we suspect the officer reminded Rjon that all of the 232nd were in the same regiment, so if one man said no, then so would the rest of the company.

Next, Rjon decided to ask the soldiers about their guns.
Q: Tell me man, is the gun the government gave to you a long one or short one?
A: I think there are certainly guns which are longer and shorter than the one I am provided with, my lord.
Q: But is it a long gun, or a short gun?
Another officer walked over and extricated the soldier from the judge and peer's incisive questions and said that under statute, the C58 rifle was a long gun.

Rjon then proceeded to make a brief oration about the virtues and uses of guns:
"I remember my dear mother told me that guns can save one's life. My grand uncle once had a sizeable gun collection, but his business failed, and creditors hounded him. When they appeared, he revealed his guns and grossly overstated the value of the collection at auction, and his creditors were all flummoxed at the valuation. They left him in peace thereafter."

All this talk about guns may have endeared him to the forces somewhat, until he reminded the unit about his own experiences with guns.
"I had a toy gun when I was a little boy, but I threw it into a river because someone said to me guns are dangerous and not fit for a small boy's toy chest."

Having left the 232nd thoroughly confused, Rjon wended east to meet the 40th of the Marines, this company lately in the news because of the "Pervert" scandal.

Upon whomever's idea, Rjon was treated to a platter at the field kitchen, having decided not to interrupt the company's mealtime. After the platter was set down before him, he started to play with the morsels and remarked profoundly:

"The dreadful state of the kitchen and the appalling nourishment therefrom must shock you more than the enemy forces ever have."

However, he does make the effort to take a bite out of the platter--dipping his tongue in the salt packet.
Q: Where are your oranges?
A: I think we do not have oranges in this place, my lord.
Q: The lack of cirtus is a curse upon any sailing navy; you must make it known to your admirals that scurvy is not an illness to which soldiers of a caring nation should succumb. It is an indictment upon the admirals that you lack citrus.
A: I shall certainly make this known with my superiors, and I thank you, my lord, for your compassion.

The food-themed conversation then turned towards whether the 40th found ship food better than land food.
Q: Having been on dry land for the last 20 months, do you miss your biscuits and ham over a storm?
A: I certainly don't object to a biscuit and some ham from time to time, my lord.
Q: Yes, but do you think it better to eat this substance that some call food than biscuits and ham?
A: I think biscuits and ham certainly are valid things on the menu, and very persistent things too.

Rjon was apparently also deeply concerned about the health of the 40th for being on dry land for too long.
Q: For normal, terrestrial organisms like me, being on a ship for months at a time will surely cause me to be ill until totally dehydrated and possibly dead! Yet for a man quite accustomed to the vagaries of the seas like yourself, do you ever feel ill for being on land for too long?
A: I... am certainly healthy enough to understand and be grateful for your concern, my lord.

Q: Captain of the company, if you and your men are not with your fleet, will they not be missing you?
A: The affections of the fleet we hope to earn and yearn to enjoy, but it is not our estimation that the fleet will become functionally impaired relative to this deployment, on account of our absence. The Secretary of State for Defence and his officials are aware of our absence from the fleet and made arrangements and contingencies to those assumptions.

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Postby Jedoria » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:25 pm

Kolodoria apologizes for that whole invading everyone stuff

The Silver Rock

Septentrion’s Finest News Source


SALHAR – Speaking to reporters at an assembled press conference, Premier Jaan Kask of the Socialist Republic of Kolodoria announced that the communist state would officially apologize for its blatant invasions of those places back a while ago or something.

“It is with our deepest set of condolences that the Socialist Republic offer’s its humblest apologies for that time we invaded those guys to the south or somewhere around there. This is not the Kolodoria of peace that we stand by today, and we are deeply sorry for the war and all that jazz.”

The State Bureau of Defense issued an additional statement echoing the sentiments, officially apologizing for “killing a bunch of people and blowing up a bunch of stuff, that was our bad and we’re sorry for all that stuff. We never meant to really hurt anyone, ya know minus all the houses we blew up and all the people we shot with machineguns. But seriously, it’s our fault, and we’re really sorry.”

Premier Kask did not specify which armed conflict he was referring to, whether the apology was meant to be for the Vinyan War, the Vyzhvan-Kolodorian War, the Cherniyan War, or the 2019 Invasion of Vyzhva. When pressed for clarification Kask did not elaborate, instead stating that “I mean it was one of those that was really bad, right? I mean it was the one with the tangerines, or maybe the mountains, I remember someone talking about clones or cockroaches or something. The point is we’re really sorry, and we wish we could just take it all back. Like, all of it. There was more than one right? Yeah, more than…I mean yeah all of it.”

An estimated two million Vinyans were killed in wars involved Kolodoria, spanning from 1975-2000. The Socialist Republic took to social media to announce its “honest apology for all that shit, that’s not us anymore, we’ve changed”. The Governments of the Vinyan community have yet to respond to this latest Kolodorian overture. At press time, Premier Kask could be overheard asking his staff if they should write out a “postcard or a gift basket or some shit” as further evidence of Kolodorian sincerity.

In other news…
-Scarecrow held on escrow
-Themiclesian Prime Minister delivers press release through carrier pigeon
-Failure to call fire department saves the lives of four firefighters
Last edited by Jedoria on Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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― Ernst Toller

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Postby Jedoria » Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:31 pm

Kolodorian Communist Party debates between further reforms or collapsing into civil war

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SALHAR – The final summit of the Council of the Community Party of Kolodoria for 2020 is set to begin on October 15th, and according to rumors floating around the capital the primary discussion is set to center around whether to further reform the Socialist Republic, or to collapse the entire country into civil war.

“Frankly this is a truly complex issue,” explained Premier Jaan Kask, “we have to weigh all the options and decide whether we should continue to reform Kolodoria into a market socialist state akin to Menghe, or just collapse the whole nation into a violent or bloody civil war. We hope to have an honest discussion between all segments of the Party before coming to any certain conclusion.”

The discussion over whether to reform the country or engage into a brutal civil war has been a subject of discussion since 2018, although it was temporarily set aside during the 2019 Invasion of Vyzvha. With the continent of Vinya more or less stable, the issue has once again come to the forefront of discussion within the Kolodorian Communist Party.

Possible reforms would likely serve as a continuation of the ones passed in 2005 following the Kolodorian Constitutional Crisis, which resulted in the relaxation of censorship laws, the ceding of powers from the KCP to the Council of Ministers, and the institution of term limits on the Premiership of the Communist Party. Further reforms would likely open up Kolodoria’s economy to increased allowance of local free enterprises, and the privatization of local businesses and industries.

Alternatively, the country could collapse into civil war as Communist hardliners refuse to cede ground, and instead throw the entire Socialist Republic into civil war along political, ideological, and ethnic lines. Supporters of the civil war argue that the option was far more attractive, noting Kolodoria’s extensive arsenal of weaponry could easily be lost or sold on the black market, providing arms to dissident groups and terrorist organizations throughout Septentrion. In addition, the interruption of Kolodoria’s fragile agricultural sector would likely result in a famine that could kill hundreds of thousands of people.

Kask assured reporters at noon that even if an agreement could not be reached, the KCP could vote to invade Vyzhva again.

In other news…
-Dayashina officially lowers kill ratio to 6:1 as gesture of good will towards Maracaibo
-Anglian Government mysteriously assumes population of Cassaterra will fall by 50 million in new economic forecast
-Heroic pit bull defends bakery by mauling a starving 11 year old pickpocket
“We were all of us cogs in a great machine which sometimes rolled forward, nobody knew where, sometimes backwards, nobody knew why.”
― Ernst Toller

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Postby Themiclesia » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:21 pm

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Aug. 21, 2020

THE GOSSIP EDITION


Kien-k’ang • Circa September 26, an image of a marine standing guard in front of a dish of milk and open can of tuna briefly became viral on Facebook, attracting as of the 2nd of October over 2,000 reposts and several fold more reactions. A similar photograph, evidently taken later in the day, shows that a “do not feed” sign has been erected before the guard, signed “The Sergeant-Major”.

Our correspondent eventually found the source of the meal, Mr. No Rup, who spoke to us on condition of notoriety about the matter.

“It’s very straightforward, really. My child and some friends were playing in Crystal Park and strayed towards the Marines’ HQ, which faced the park. The guy standing guard suddenly gave into a monstrous and hysterical fit and roared at the children. They were moved to tears and came running to me to explain, and I decided to lay out a dish of milk and can of tuna, at my own expense, for his enjoyment.”

We interviewed several bystanders, identified through their Facebook messages on the photo, and tentatively reconstructed the events that led to this picture.

Early in the afternoon on September 26, Mr. No’s child and four friends played in Crystal Park and somehow veered off the playing ground and ran into the sentry box that stood in front of the Marines’ HQ, whereby its occupant suddenly let out a shriek and made some sort of hand gesture to expel the children, who started to cry and would not budge from the box.

Alarmed by the vociferation, Mr. No ran to the box and interceded on behalf of the children, chiding the guard, “What do you think you are doing?”

The guard refused to respond to Mr. No’s interrogation, whereby a small crowd has gathered to see the unfolding drama. The guard eventually let out a “do not threaten me,” but Mr. No turned this against him and let the crowd know his displeasure.

“If you consider a few children playing to be threatening, you’re not fit to be a soldier! Get another job! Stop wasting public money! I see horseplay all the time through these gates, I see adults sauntering into your HQ, and that’s ‘not threatening’ according to your book. All the world may see what a state we’ve come to—there are soldiers terrified of children doing what normal children do and perturbed by an adult criticizing them respectable language.”

“Step back.” The guard replied with remarkable cool.

“No. I am well within my right to stand just here.”

“Step… back…” He said again.

“Consular Ordinance No. 9101,” Mr. No snapped, “and you need not be posturing because I know precisely what you are allowed to do, or equipped to do. Or maybe they’ve renumbered the ordinances since ‘98, but you know well what I mean.”

Just as the atmosphere seemed to reach a tipping point, Mr. No asked the crowd to “watch this space” that “the guard does not escape”. He then stepped into a convenience store and emerged with the comestibles and imbibements that the photograph captures.

“Here, take them! I never thought my regiment’s joke would ever be appropriate, but I was wrong.”

Secondarily, an officer emerged from the HQ and asked if the situation required his attention. Before the guard could respond, Mr. No strafed and interposed himself between the two. He said with perfect eloquence:

“My children were playing in Crystal Park near your sentry box, and this guard emitted a sequence of shrill and projectile vocalizations to the unfortunate effect of spawning a crowd of no small size.” He reported to the officer.

“Might I ask about the dish of milk and can of tuna that you, sir, have put in front of the guard?” The officer inquired in return.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Would you mind if I removed them?”

“I regret to say I would, for it is my expressed desire that the dish of milk, with some in the box, and the can of tuna be left here until the guard feeds upon it.”

“I’m afraid I couldn’t possible allow that. The milk can spoil very easily, and passers-by might knock them over and attract other wildlife that legally and ethically should not be fed here or those things, for a variety of environmental, ecological, and humanitarian reasons.”

“Sir!” He exclaimed while blocking the officer’s movement to retrieve the articles, “The city will consulted should there be any question about the limits of the headquarters, as I am sure will demonstrate to you the sentry box and your guardsman are outside of the bounds of your headquarters. Whatever you say sir, the milk and tuna are staying there!”

The Sergeant-Major bowed his head and allowed a broad grin to surface, while keeping his hands in the air to make the concession that followed. He picked up the dish of milk and walked to the guard, who seemed to be sweating beads.

“I know you’ve been leering the milk and tuna for a while now, but you can’t reach for it, so I will help you instead. Open up.” He instructed the guard as he poured the milk down his mouth. Then he fished out a pair of chopsticks to stuff some of the fish into the same orifice, and the bystanders started clapping.

“Are we all satisfied, sir?” He said, after polishing off the remaining tuna for himself.

“Yes, thank you.” Mr. No said, with a profound and deliberate nod.

The officer stepped back into the box and emerged with a large sign before the guard, which read “Do not feed—will report to authorities”.

The day seemed resolved, but the sign was later edited digitally to contain different messages such as “romantically eligible” or “in need of home”.

On the Internet, a variety of different responses have been caught by our journalists.

“Sentry duty is extremely boring, and people do treat you like a toy. Having a fit from time to time is not that uncommon, just a shame it happened on children. I’ve been in a box like that.”

“Treating you like a toy, yes. A cat? I haven’t experienced that. Which regiment is this Mr. No from?”

“Possibly the Air Force Regiment, the one that does search and rescue plus special operations. It’s the only one eccentric enough to believe marines are actually cats kept by sailors, turned into humanoid shape by the ocean’s magicians.”

“Do people this day and age believe in transforming animals into humans? The AFR is eccentric indeed.”

“YES! I used to work with the AFR and did, in fact, ask them whether they did believe this. One of their officers said that he ‘can only confirm these beliefs exist.’ When asked if marines are really cats, he said, ‘We can’t possible disclose such information.’”

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Postby Themiclesia » Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:22 am

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Oct. 5, 2020

THE GOSSIP EDITION: Mocked guard sues


Kien-k’ang • The guard who stood at a sentry box and the subject of a dish of milk and can of tuna, as recorded in a viral video on Sep. 26, has filed a claim for public defamation and injuries to mental health against Mr. No, who has (now infamously) set a kitten’s fare before the guard. According to the viral video, this is because Mr. No’s child and several playmates have run into the sentry box while playing in Crystal Park, whereby the guard let out a “bestial” roar and terrified the children.

Apparently, the guard has retained a solicitor as soon as he left his box that day on the 26th. A suit was filed at the General Court of the locality, and preliminary hearings have been arranged by the court on Oct. 1. Mr. No, also moved to retain a solicitor, has released a statement:

“While it would not be proper to reveal too much about an ongoing suit, I think the whole affair is taken far more seriously than needed. There is no damage or injury, and that is the position I mean to maintain when pleading occurs.”

On the other hand, the plaintiff has made no reservations on Twitter and expressed his indignation:

“I demand $100,000 for being treated like a kitty cat in public. There is no excuse for reducing a human being to the status of an animal.”

However, as the case is presumably before the court, a different video of the same guard has surfaced on the Internet. The video appears to describe a private function—possibly in a home—between the guard and several other individuals on first-name basis to him.

The guard is seen wearing a headband adorned with cat ears and a prosthetic tail. The footage, taken from a shaky camera, shows a can of tuna and dish of milk being presented to the seated guard while loud music and disco strobes filled the room.

“You win! You get a prize of… nothing! Good day sir!” He shouted, hurling the foods into his fellow partygoers’ faces.

The entire room burst out in laughter, with eight discernable faces in frame.

While the film has since found it way onto different platforms, we believe the original was posted on Tik Tok, a recently-booming site that favours clips over longer videos.

The day after the party film was released, the guard’s solicitor filed complaints on the sites that hosted the video, claiming that the guard had not intended this film to be public and would like to preserve it privately for before the court. However, YouTube said that only the creator of the film—the unseen but very shaky cameraman—can retract the film, which is not earning any revenues at this point but has attracted over 50,000 views.

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Postby Themiclesia » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:58 pm

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Oct. 17, 2020

Themiclesia’s Navy and Sushi

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The naval galley's big sushi

Kien-k’ang • It seems like a no-brainer that anyone at sea, whether on a commercial or military vessel, should fish to supplant a stereotypically boring maritime menu, but this has not always been legal in Themiclesia.

“Fishing at sea, unless passing through a region where fish are known to inhabit in great numbers, is not a reliable food supply for a navy,” retired admiral Adm. Map said to us, “even in the historical record, virtually all navies brought foodstuffs for the entire voyage and did not rely on sporadic catches. There are large swathes of the ocean poor in edible fishes. This is also why we associate sailors with biscuits and ham, not with binging on seafood.”

Nevertheless, fishing as recreation is well-known in the Themiclesian maritime community.

Themiclesian ships reached Maracaibo in the late 7th century, and between the 10th and 14th was a serious naval power in the Meridian Ocean. In waters that have supported both fishing communities and trading cities for centuries, the navy actively caught and cured fish, sending some of it as tribute to the royal court and selling the rest to merchants sojourning on the island. This fish product was a lumpy fish sauce called gjih, and recreations have proven very repulsive to modern palates.

During voyages, particularly near the Maverican coast, nets were frequently cast for large catches. Lacking the curing faculties, these fish would likely have been pickled in salt and preserved for future use as an entrée, called tsra’.

It seems both of these activities were sanctioned, and their returns were at the disposal of the captain, if not higher officials, but ordinary sailors could also try their hand at catching a few fish; after all, many sailors were fishermen, who were valued for their maritime experience even if that did not involve combat.

Many modern navies prohibit fishing on deck, but there is little evidence that the historic Themiclesian navy held the same reservations. However, for a catch to be private, it had to be made on private fishing lines, and given limited space on board, it seems fishing rods may not have been widely employed until the 16th century. Previous to this, sailors may have simply kept a spool of fishing wire and threw it with bait into the ocean.

There are coroner’s records from all centuries saying that captains reported their sailors missing “having plunged into the sea fishing on the bulwark.”

Like many other cultures, Themiclesians of all classes in the middle ages enjoyed raw fish as a delicacy and developed elaborate means of preparing it. This is particularly true in the interior, where marine fishes are only available under preservation. Raw fish was and still is called nkrobh in its traditional form, but as a Dayashinese cuisine the international term sushi is used.

Sailors enjoyed nkrobh made from their private catches, which were consumed with fishing knowledge that was usually forthcoming. The preference for raw consumption, aside from the cultural association of delicacy, may be connected to the reluctance of kitchen staff to lend their tools to sailors, who sometimes stole from the ship’s equipment.

A third motivation could be showing off—carving a live fish with a sword became a skill that sailors demonstrated to visitors. It is unclear whether this had anything to do with naval combat, or if the main point was to demonstrate how bad munitions-grade swords were.

Thus, aside from standard rations of bagels, ham, and pemmican (since the 1400s), sailors could expect pickled fish, fish sauce, and raw fish from time to time.

However, consumption of raw fish did not come without risks. Preservation techniques not only prolong shelf life but may have helped kill certain pathogens like parasitic worms, and this is clearly how the 17th-century navy thought. In 1617, the admirals issued a strict order that certain kinds of fish must be thrown back into the ocean if caught for their association with pathogens.

In the same order, the apothecary was commanded to keep a stock of wormwood to disinfect sailors that showed signs of affliction, but physicians did not have modern means of identifying sick sailors. Furthermore, wormwood overdose can cause severe symptoms and, in extreme cases, death, and 17th-century prescriptions applied it very liberally. The dangerous effects of these prescriptions likely contributed to their withdrawal in the two following centuries.

At the same time, improvements in a vessel’s ability to store food and in food preservation and canning technology obsoleted on-board fishing as a sanctioned practice by the end of the 19th century.

The first Dayashinese migrants to Themiclesia arrived in the 19th century, but they did not form a distinct community until the early 20th; they were likely responsible for the introduction of sushi, particularly of the edomae variety, to Themiclesia. With the advent of refrigerated freight over railway, the consumption of sushi become popular in cities by 1900.

As sushi was regarded as an exotic food, moreover difficult to prepare and preserve, it was not included on ships’ menus. However, during this period sailors still privately caught and gutted fish for nkrobh, though no longer with as much ceremony as before. Sailors were no longer issued swords as enemy boarding was adjudged unlikely with improving gunnery and even early torpedoes.

The situation changed in the 1930s as the Prairie War was turning against Themiclesia, and cultural borders started to experience stress from mistrust and political intrigue. Themiclesian nationalists, who were disunited and came in several flavoures, sometimes considered Dayashinese immigrants suspicious. In 1939, the empire declared war on Themiclesia, though by this point the country was in no position to pick and choose whose bravery was worthy.

Earlier in 1937, hundreds of young Dayashinese men volunteered to join the Marines, who were recruiting at a snail’s pace as it was not expected to see combat immediately. With new recruits of this cultural disposition came new cooks and menus, and edomae sushi made it onto the regiment’s menu in 1938.

It should be noted this probably had little to do with the prominence of fish cuisine in the early navy, but the regiment’s stationing—Tor-nêng, a major city and fish entrepot. The garrison was particularly near to the harbour, so fresh fish would have been plentiful. Additionally, Dayashinese sushi was perceived as a food distinct from domestic nibbles like gjih, tsra’, and nkrobh, even if they all involved some kind of raw fish.

In the post-war generation of ships, refrigeration was gradually introduced so sailors’ food horizons expanded beyond cured, pickled, and canned foods. The science of nutrition gained a more modern admiralty’s attention after the war, and (frozen) fresh foods became a requirement rather than luxury. Sushi became an occasional treat prepared in the galleys, especially after the Dayashinese servicepeople received recognition, having joined the navy in face of prejudice and under volition.

In the 30s, sushi was not quotidian Dayashinese fare; it was food-stall food, meant for rapid, standing consumption. Its appearance on the regiment’s menu accompanied a change in exercise schedules but also attracted more Dayashinese recruits to that regiment.

The presence of sushi is less well-document outside of the navy. The earlier reference to sushi coming into the Consolidated Army mess was in 1958, and the air force seems to have sticked to Casaterran foods until comparatively recently.

There remains one more kink in the story of sushi in Themiclesia’s navy. In 2018, an internet picture depicting a sushi at a naval meal received broad attention due to the sushi’s size. Indeed, many naval servicepeople recollect that naval nigirizushi are much larger (“four to eight times”, one of them says) than what most restaurants serve.

After some digging, the cook that prepared the first sushi for the Marines happened to be an apprenticing sushi chef, in a stall opened in 1881 by an immigrant. Though he died in 1955, his comrades recollect he often professed his proficiency in preparing authentic sushi. The scallop and tuna nigirizushi having become the sine qua non of the regiment’s menu, his recipe was didactically followed by successive cooks and probably represent an accident preservation of an archaic proportion.

Since the ending of the last shogunate in Dayashina, under which nigirizushi appeared, sushi have steadily shrunk. Old pictures of post-war Dayashina reveal that up to 1950, sushi were still two to four times larger than they are today.

“The portions that the pre-war Dayashinese immigrants considered usual are probably even larger, and their preference has been imprinted in the regiment’s menu,” the current regimental cook said, “and another piece of evidence is that our recipe calls for fermented rice vinegar, which has been replaced in most Dayashinese establishments by clear vinegar. Sushi was something of a labourer’s food, and it’s not in a labourer’s interest that portions shrink too much. A soldier is basically a labourer in terms of physical stresses, so it’s not surprising to me that larger sushi have remained fashionable around these parts.”
Last edited by Themiclesia on Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Themiclesia » Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:42 am

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Nov. 10, 2020

Marines burn down classic Marines statue and plushies

Kien-k’ang • “It’s all a lie, an accursed, damnable lie,” the suspect said, face buried in palms, while in police custody, “that plushy is a blemish on the face of this country and any notion of transparent government.”

The charred corpse of the 10-foot-tall, anthropomorphic kitten in Marines uniform stood in the rain as the smoke abated in Crystal Park, Kien-k’ang. Erected in 1991, it died just shy of its thirtieth birthday, have accompanied the childhoods of many of the park’s young patrons.

“The polyurethane statue, one of nine copies, was sculpted by Henry S. Rong, a renowned artist whose work is found as permanent exhibits in many art galleries,” the park’s administrator said. “It was originally sponsored by the Marines and scheduled to be removed after ten years, but following a petition with 10,000 signatures, it was retained as an attraction for children.”

Photographs, which are now the only memento of the beloved kitten, show that the cat was not done in a realistic style, but in that of Rong, who exploited the suppleness of polyurethane to provide a smooth but unpolished finish. Its fading paint are remnants of a gold coat, emerald eyes, and white paws.

The suspect was not arrested at the site of the ablaze statute, but at a supermarket that contained a rack of plushies each marked for the arm of the military that created it for recruitment and PR reasons. He was apprehended by floorwalker when he set fire to the spirit bear plushy that represented the Northern Command of the Coast Guard, with two bottles of ethanol and ten boxes of matches in hand.

This paper is told by his family that the suspect recently returned home after a period of service abroad, “with a huge chip on his shoulder, complaining about everything from the size of the airplane seats, the strange habits of clinical urologists, and the ungainliness and price of the Marines’ uniforms.”

The suspect has declined to speak with this paper.

The Marine Corps has expressed regret for the “unfortunate incident” but said “it was ultimately a private matter in which we have no authority to comment upon.” Further interrogation yielded no further answers.

“That was an unfortunate fate for a beloved piece of art that plenty of children and tourists liked,” one of their officers privately revealed on condition of anonymity. “I would imagine there are many Themiclesians whose first knowledge of the Marines is that kitten; as with any employer, first impressions are important.”

Media historian Susan Goyal writes that the cute kitten statue would seem highly unusual for a piece of military propaganda internationally, but it was part of an effort to enhance the unit’s public appeal in an era of growing weariness of internal hostility and broad cultural shift.

“The general feeling in Themiclesia in the 80s is a weariness of international hostility. Foreign policy since the 50s required frequent deployments to assist Themiclesia’s allies; none were life-threatening affairs like the Pan-Septentrion War was, but the Foreign Office flooded the domestic media with pro-war messages to ensure continued political support for the nation’s interventionalist foreign policy,” she says.

“By the late 80s, the generation that grew up in the wake of the PSW had mostly become income-earning citizens and strove to establish a morality of their own era, beginning with a strong condemnation of the ‘Foreign Office bureaucracy’ that was demonized as a clandestine pocket of elite civil servants.

“The films ran both sides of the same story—the highly-qualified, tenacious, humble administrator who protected his nation from behind a desk, saved the lives of thousands with his decisions, and left the public honours to the common soldier, or alternately cold strategist who planned how many lives would he sacrifice to gain a bit of leverage over that foreign government.

“This focus on the Foreign Office was not accidental, as the decisions to join conflicts were justified by the Foreign Secretary, with briefs drafted by faceless civil servants, to dispel MPs’ stinging questions. Despite the rise and fall of governments, it seemed foreign secretaries never had control over what the bureaucrats wanted him to say, leading to the suspicion that Themiclesia’s democratic institutions, armed forces, and even the general public were controlled by bureaucrats.”

“Under this atmosphere, things which glorified warfare and its participants were regarded with suspicion as the bureaucrats’ apparatus of thought-control. This included most of the armed forces’ propaganda material, which were forced to undergo plastic surgery to appeal to the new morality. That was also the Foreign Office’s decision, in fact, about how to maintain public support for defence spending in an era like this.

“The forces themselves made several forays to gain public sympathy; one avenue was to portray themselves in a light of weakness, of want, and of eagerness. ‘We could do more, but not without your help.’ Another was to dismantle the battlefield myth, which was much truer in former eras like the PSW where many more soldiers were actually on the battlefield. Openly advertising that some positions involved no combat was taboo in some branches. There were some bona fide arguments it might lead to discrimination, but by 1990 it was done by every recruiter. ‘There’s a place for every profession and creed in the forces, including some that involve absolutely no combat.’

“The Marines did a bit of both, capitalizing on the mystique of foreign service somewhat slyly contrasted with ‘dull’ domestic duties. They also relied on new techniques to convert some recruits who never signed up for battle to it. They also commissioned giant kitten statues to levy the cute response, which was argued by psychologist and Marines officer Captain G. Hum, ‘The cute response is irrespective of identity and context. Thus if we are considered cute, the average adult will feel an impulse to help us regardless of what we actually do.’ ”

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Postby Themiclesia » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:56 am

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Jan. 1, 2000

Marines run out of uniforms

Kien-k’ang • An unnamed source in the marine corps has revealed to this paper that, for the last four months, marines have been unable to purchase their uniforms except from custom tailors, as the company that manufactures it for general issue, Polygon Manufacturing Corporation, has folded unexpectedly, and its corporate leadership is now under criminal investigation for multiple forms of fraud.
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Marines' uniforms on exhibition, 1890 (left) and 1990 (right).


We are told, by also-unnamed sources, their executives have hollowed out the company’s coffers to buy  B enron shares, with tragic results.

While the company was still liquidating remaining stock, the force had told its members there were still more than 8,000 coats in stock, which would last more than seven months at the usual pace they buy new coats, while new sources are sought.

“Initially, we thought this was good news because bankrupt companies usually sell their stock for a steep discount, so we could buy them on the cheap as we go,” he said over the telephone with caller ID disabled. “Now, an entire class of officers and men would have to appear at the Admiralty’s garden party in their private clothing.”

To make an issue thought to be a few months away fully immediate, the residual coats have suddenly been snapped up by a film studio and two re-enactment groups; desiring immediate funds to satisfy creditors, the company sold the lot overnight, leading to the compromising shortage.

Fortunately, the force’s battle uniforms are not affected by the folding of the company.

It appears the lion’s share of the coats have been purchased by Lucerne Studio, which is now producing a feature-length film about labour movements of 1890 Tyran. According to our own estimation, that film could involve thousands of extras in scenes of a truly epic scale, all of whom need to be dressed period-appropriately.

As for the re-enactors, they appear to specialize in certain 19th-century line-infantry units, many of which had coats reasonably similar to those of the Marines. The Capital Defence Force, now the 242th Brigade, is an example, except their coats had buttons of a different colour.

A third potential bulk-buyer was the Kien-k’ang Chamber of Lawyers, which had its eyes set upon the black frock coats that are part of barristers’ dress code of the superior courts. However, the film studio and re-enactor group had polished off the supply before the lawyers could order them, probably hampered by the legal term now in session.

The shortage has reportedly wreaked havoc on soldiers’ wallets, as a custom frock coat could run as much as $5,000 at some tailoring operations. A more economical supplier would still charge $2,000 if a suitable template is not at hand.

“It really is a objectionable and costly inconvenience,” our source said. “I had to sell part of my cellar, amounting to eight vintages, to pass the next uniform check. I had expected to spend at most $900 out of pocket, but I was charged no less than $2,900 even with uniform subsidies applied. I daren’t think how my comrades are coping.”

“On the other hand, a fitting frock coat does mean I can waltz into a gala dinner held for the legal profession and remain undetected, until they ask me about the state of my practice, that is.”

It is unclear what the forces, or the Bip Government, would do to address this problem.

“The issue has been reported to me,” the private secretary to the Under-Secretary for Defence Procurement spoke to us. “As it is now before a court of law, it will not be proper to comment on what happened of the company. But insofar as it relates to the financial wellbeing of our servicepeople, a committee is now impaneled to select a new supplier, and the Defence Secretary will make the final decision in due time. The Admiralty has been directed to deliberate necessary accommodations or contingencies in the meantime.”

“Oh no, it’s one of the off-term purchasing decision review committees again,” our source moaned after learning about the minister’s decision. “They have to vet all the committee members for conflicts of interest, and it will probably not meet, let alone report for at least six months.”

In the past, if a supplier goes bust with an ongoing contract with the government, there were usually back-ups; if the supplier is manufacturing something that cannot be replaced in the short term like a warship, the Government usually demanded proof of financial security or backing before the contract is executed. It is unclear if Polygon was given the same standard screening process, though it may have been exempted as a minor contract.

“One of my friends works with the 242nd Brigade, and their coat is almost the same as ours, or so I hear,” a marine in a Gucci x Armani t-shirt avers, “I suppose I’ll just have to get my hands on one and DIY my own uniform. I will phone-order a few velvet buttons from a haberdasher. It doesn’t violate some kind of labour protection or workplace safety legislation, right?”

“You can,” our source replied, “but you will still have to pay full price because you don’t have the 242nd’s uniform subsidy coupons. And you can’t DIY your own coupon, for obvious reasons.”

“It’s just one more reason why Coast Guard people will gloat about their glorious service and lord their glorious free uniforms over us.”

It is understood that the Cenetral Labour Board is to intercede on behalf of Themiclesia’s marines, who may be saddled with “employers’ expenses” through no fault of their own.

“If the case enters arbitration, the Marines may not have a good defence,” says Sjt. Kjing, a member of the Supreme Court’s bar, who has worked in labour law for five decades. “It will certainly be represented that the only reason they suffer up to $5,000 for a set of uniforms is the employer’s arbitrary decision and is not a substantive and anticipated part of the employee’s responsibilities, per contract.”

How much does it cost? An interview with Dr. Gwjang

We called Dr. Gwjang, lately Captain-general of Marines, to check if he remembers how much uniforms actually cost. He makes some surprising revelations.

“A considerable amount, they cost.

“When I was a field archaeologist leading a survey in Prjin around 1982, I had less than $500 to spend each month. Taking a captain’s commission, I was immediately hit with a $2,970 bill for tailoring the dress coat, no, the frock coat. I’ve always hired a dress coat until 2005, when I undertook diplomatic duties and was forced to invest in my own.

“Back in the 80s, the enlisted rates received a generous subsidy for their uniforms, covering 80 to 90% the nominal cost of uniforms, but officers like me—junior ones—were expected to front every penny, at sticker price. The tailors knew we were freshly-minted officers and can’t back out of our units right after taking a commission. They presented finer after finer wool, pricier after pricier linings.

“The frock coat was the dearest piece wardrobe. It cost $2,100 by itself and was joined by a $450 waistcoat and $190 fishtail trousers. The cravat was $210. In ’85 I also had to buy court shoes, satin suspenders, and, cuff links, and er, replacement buttons, but those were common goods. I got those from consignment.

“The rest was cheap. The sack coat was merely $150, the trousers were $20, and the waistcoat was $20, I think. These were really shoddy coats, as nobody I know can make them last more than a year.

“When I became a senior officer, I was notified by the Cabinet Office that I was invited to functions of state, and I had to follow how the dignitaries dressed. I had to follow the dignitaries, the royal family, government ministers, and socialites. This is where costs started to spiral out of control.

“The royal court switched to top coats on September 15, so I had to order a frock topcoat. With lining, that was $4,000. On November 1, they started wearing overcoats, so I bought a frock overcoat, which was $5,500.

“I’m not saying they made $5,500 off me with just one coat, since they have costs too, but I was a humble public servant surviving on a modest, very modest wage. I have royalties from my 1987 book, but I prefer not to spend that on my military career.

“When I was a captain, there was this drill sergeant—he did not know me—who saw me sometimes out of uniform. He lost his temper at me in public, which went through the grapevine to the head of training. He apologized to me for this indiscretion and guaranteed that ‘disciplinary proceedings are forthcoming’ but suggested to me, very politely, to observe how all my peers have committed to the dress code.

“Then he spoke in my ear, ‘I think your rank is up-side-down, which is why he mistook you for a corporal or something.’”
Last edited by Themiclesia on Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:19 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Themiclesia » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:38 pm

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Jan. 1, 2000

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The winning poster

Themiclesian Marines’ poster contest ends in disaster

Kien-k’ang • As bowed heads and exasperated glances defined the mood of the conference room, the fateful hour-hand has struck twelve, finalizing the tabulation of votes for the 2020 recruitment poster submission contest.

The “Imposter” poster has been a decided frontrunner since its late submission on Dec. 20 this year, but it has garnered overwhelming response from the gaming community, with or without help from academic and amateur historians who eagerly pecked on the regiment by reminding the public of its reluctance to deal with infiltrators in 1940 and 41.

While the annual poster contest has prior to this time generated little attention, with entries taking the top spot with just under 5,000 votes, the “Imposter” poster wound up with a margin of 472,298 votes from the runner-up.

The Marines themselves have actually violated the rules of neutrality by secretly urging its servicepeople to support another poster in a pathetic attempt to halt the unstoppable advance of r/gaming.

Even if every person who had ever been a marine, active or in reserve, were to support the runner-up, their combined strength still would erode not more than an eighth of that margin, and there had already been inquiries into the ethics of the “urgent recommendation” issued by the Art Director’s office to support what was supposed to be an open contest.

We are told by sources close to the Secretary of State for Defence that the minister welcomed the result and the unprecedented level of public participation, which he gathers “brings awareness to the forces and their role civic life.”

The runner-up poster, which was produced by the Marines’ own art studio, depicts one of their servicepeople submerged in swampy water, with only a pair of eyes emerging. No title accompanies the portrayal. They credit the image to Mr. Jonathan Hit, who was a journalist covering the force’s 2019 jungle exercise with Dayashinese forces on Sakurajima.

“If we must be artistically interpreted through the lens of a video game whose primary theme is isolation, crime, and mystery and whose primary dynamic is between notionally ‘good us’ and ‘evil them’ factions, can we get crewmate instead?” grumbled Major Benny Cap. “Do we really appear like shapeshifting aliens who are bent on the destruction of the human race by sabotage and at any cost to themselves?”

The published terms of the contest is that the winning poster, which is solely to be chosen through an Internet poll, will be printed in 2,000 copies with the Marines’ official indorsement and publicly used as its recruitment poster. There appears to be no proviso against posters that the force does not like, so it appears to this paper that the Marines are stuck with it for 2021.

The Admiralty was not officially available for comment, but we are told by an unnamed source a senior figure has privately expressed indignation at the results of the contest. He describes it as an “ignominious farce”. However, a different figure has said that, as far as the choice between crewmate and imposter is concerned, the poster is “very fit for purpose”, because “the crewmate poster is the natural preserve and prerogative of the fleet’s crew.”

The Attorney-general has reportedly issued a general injunction against any “ordinance or compulsive instruction to alter the outcome of a public contest, except under ministerial authority.”

“Jokes aside, this poster must be stopped,” a retired military officer wrote on Twitter, “as it is a breach of confidence and a most improper leak of government secrets.”

The headquarters of the Air Force Regiment has officially endorsed the “Imposter” poster as of 3000 hours, Dec. 28. This action, however, has prompted some Marines veterans to ask whether this is an ethical decision. The Solicitor-general for the Forces has replied in time that the AFR HQ was in the clear because it has not actually instructed anyone to vote in a given way.

“The heart of the question is that everyone who votes must not have been motivated to do so by public authority,” the judicial official said.

The winning poster reads, “Do you want to be an… Imposter?”

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Themiclesia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:41 am

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Jan. 1, 2021

Newsflash: Government will not print “Imposter” poster

Kien-k’ang • Today, the Government has issued a statement through Attorney-general’s Department that public money will not be spent on printing the “Imposter” poster, which was submitted to the forces’ recruitment poster contest and appears to encourage marines recruits to become terrorists, due to complications arising under international law.

“Obviously the Government are thrilled to see such unprecedented public input,” the First Cabinet Secretary told this paper in a press conference, “it has been most touching and very affirming too to the administration.”

“However, with regard to the advertised commitment to print the poster winning the public poll, there have been some legal complications raised by multiple officials. To put things in a nutshell, the Government has found it impossible to print the poster in good conscience and has instructed the Exchequer not to release funds to print the same.”

“Earlier this morning, the Cabinet Office has received a telegraph from the Crystal Park HQ stating the winner of the poll has been revealed with about 400,000 votes, and according to the terms of the contest which was offered under c. 55 Sk’ên 71 §2, they accordingly pray the Exchequer pay out moneys authorized for the purposes in the statute aforesaid.

“However, to the same communication they annexed a list of objections why they believe the poster should not be released to the press, including but not limited to the comment that it is uncomplimentary to the forces and that it is unhelpful to shape the profile of the induction. It is suggested that the matter may have political relevance, for which it defers and appeals to the Secretary of State for Defence to grant a ruling.

The Attorney-general then read a short message from him and his colleagues.

“In my perspective as a legal professional, the poster contest was conducted under the statute that grants to the Secretary of State for Defence the power to print materials and host public events for the purposes of creating public awareness in the armed forces, to devolve any part of that power to divers regiments, and to impose rules for the same. The law permits the said Minister to spend a certain sum of money each year for that purpose.

“As with any public activity, it is important to observe that statutes are not to be interpreted as abrogating each other unless a clear intention to abrogate is literally present. As applied to the present situation, the rules imposed by the Minister, which say that the winner of the public poll will be officially indorsed and printed, cannot be interpreted to abrogate statute law, and indeed the Minister’s sign manual cannot abrogate statute, which is passed by Parliament.

“The statute law that we find most in conflict with the poster is that Themiclesia is party to Treaty of Krossa since 1898, which forbids a number of actions like infiltrating and pretending to be an officer of a foreign army. By convention, international treaties ratified by Parliament are of the same effect as ordinary statutes because they are passed by the same authority. The poster appears to reference exactly such an action and invites the viewer to do so.

“Of course, we recognize that the poster itself, or its printing, does not constitute such a breach statute. Alien armies are not thereby infiltrated, or their officers impersonated. The poster does not undermine the allegiance of any foreign military officer to their respective sovereigns. But similarly it must be agreed that it appears to exhort it or to imply that it is exhorted by the regiment. It is not lawful in this country to encourage the perpetration of a crime, even though it may not always be punishable. In this view, the poster undermines the juridical integrity of public authority and potentially national regard amongst the world’s governments.

“From a legal perspective, the Government is granted by Parliament certain and limited power to provide for the national defence, which is commonly interpreted as part of its manifesto the public and also statutorily its obligations to the several devolved governments, by which it has sought to host this poster contest for legitimate purposes and reasonable terms. Thus, it appears that the terms of the poster contest, authorized by the ministerial sign manual, has a certain basis and may not be withdrawn without legitimate cause.

“Against this, we posit that the Government’s higher responsibility as chief executive is to enforce laws and note that international treaties are amongst those enactments. The Government is bound by the latter, which is both constitutional and statutory, and the Minister’s commitments to the poster competition’s rules are ordinances made for the better enforcement of statutes. In case of anomalies, the final authority to judge whether it is lawful to print the poster is assigned to the courts of law, but it is our opinion that the prudent action, at this time, is to withhold the poster from printing, as it will not necessarily be contrary to statute, both that so empowering the said Minister and that regulating the relationship between the Government in Kien-k’ang and the divers devolved governments, to withdraw a ministerial ordinance, but it will be contrary to law to enforce the ordinance in contrary to statutes.

“The implications under the civil jurisdiction, as to whether a contract was established or implied, are not hereby touched.

“Signed, Attorney-general,
“Co-signed, Solicitor-general for Inner Themiclesia; Principal Clerk, Privy Council,
“Co-signed, Chief Solicitor for the Ministry of Defence; Deputy-Secretary,
“Co-signed, Sjt. Lut, Regimental Solicitor; Major, Marines Treasury,
“Co-signed, Sjt. Mrei A., Regimental Solicitor; Lieutenant, Marines Treasury.”

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West Atlantia
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Founded: Sep 13, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Now is the winter of our discontent...

Postby West Atlantia » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:47 am

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NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT

With the rapidly deteriorating situation along the Fuinno-Eran border and north-western Fyrland the Vinyan Union has voted unanimously to begin relief operations to aid pockets of Pamiric and Ivernic refugees who are clinging to existence in the northernmost foothills of Tíri Era and lakelands of Fyrland.
Refugees that have managed to cross the border into Crioch Fuinidh have told of the terrible conditions that their countrymen and women are facing, with one of the worst winters on record in western Vinya meaning that their fate without some sort of intervention is very much sealed. One man said that the near daily mortar and rocket attacks are causing substantial casualties and fatalities who cannot be buried due to the hardness of the ground.

It is expected that air-drops of so called "disaster domiciles" along with food, water and earth moving equipment are to be delivered over the coming days.

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Aid drops are being prepared for delivery

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Whilst Glasic helicopters have started directly delivering aid

The Union has issued an ultimatum to both the Eran and Fyrish governments demanding they immediately cease the 'wholesale liquidation' of ethnic minorities within their borders or face 'harsh consequences'.

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Themiclesia
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Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:35 am

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Jan. 21, 2021

Coast Guard Apologizes to Dayashinese

Kien-k’ang • “In public service, responsibility is the standard from which all actions acquire meaning and evaluation. It is only because we take responsibility for all of our actions can we feel proud for the many times we have served the public interest, but at the same time we owe contrition and restitution for those we have not,” the newly-appointed Commandant of the Coast Guard averred to the press today, “The Coast Guard would like to offer its apologies to Dayashinese-Themiclesians, especially those who have served during the Pan-Septentrion War and so unfairly treated for nothing more than their language, heritage, and unsubstantiated suspicion on our part.”

80 years ago, the Dayashinese Empire sent agents to damage infrastructure and assassinate the sovereign of Themiclesia by infiltrating the Marine Corps, which was responsible for the defence of Tonning. These infiltrators exploited the fact that many ethnic Dayashinese citizens of this country had chosen to join that unit entirely out of a legitimate motive—to take solace and mutual support in a common language and heritage—during trying circumstances.

Unfortunately, the infiltrators’ identities were very effectually covered, causing staggering loss of life at the royal court. Given the Navy Secretary’s reluctance to pursue a solution, the Home Secretary instructed the Coast Guard to pay “especial attention to all suspicious individuals”. The Guard first interpreted this to mean all marines who were heard speaking Dayashinese, which for a majority of them was their native tongue, and after 1941 revised to be all individuals in the Marines’ uniforms.

The Guard’s internal watchdog recommended that, to prevent retaliatory infiltration, the unit reject all applicants “of Dayashinese extraction”, including not only Dayashinese immigrants but anyone who had Dayashinese blood. This blatantly prejudiced ordinance received sanction by the Home Secretary, Lord Tjar, on Jan. 2, 1942, a day the new Commandant says will be “forever remembered in shame.” The rule was not lifted until 1955, well after the war had ended.

Veterans of the Marines, of all ethnicities, have long formed a vocal lobby to demand apologies from the Coast Guard hierarchy, but until now the Guard’s official line has been that the measures taken were “normal and justified” and “moreover motivated by the Navy’s inaction and the potential for catastrophic harm”.

“We only need to see the Coast Guard’s policies after the war to understand the absurdity of that defence,” Col. Mitama wrote in 1980. “It was not a well-mediated policy that logically identified potential infiltrators. It was uninhibited xenophobia against everyone they believed were similar to infiltrators. The Guard made no sincere attempt to distinguish Dayashinese people and infiltrators serving the Dayashinese Empire. They treated everyone with suspicion and called it ‘normal and justified’.”

“I was arrested by the Guard on Mar. 15, 1941 for looking at the direction of the Rjem-m’e’ Palace,” he recounted. “They made this reasoning quite plain when they questioned me and wrote that into a dossier, and then wired it to my commanding officer. They described it as ‘possibly spying for directions’. That is not a joke. The standards, or the lack of standards, was and is absolutely terrifying.”

“I am very happy that the Guard has issued an apology today, one that I personally echo,” Lieutenant Sup wrote to us. “The practices we had during the PSW are exactly what they seem—horrid. They were founded upon unfair suspicion and made worse by poor interpretation and enforcement.”

However, others have added to the prolonged dispute by focusing on the Coast Guard’s position during the war. Historian C. Martin writes that the Guard was under tremendous pressure to ensure that the industrial heartland of Themiclesia was safe.

“The infiltrations occurred at the low point of the war, when the capital city was under siege.” Martin writes, “There was a real fear that the country might not overcome, and the Guard was told that, as they were not fighting at the front, they too needed extraordinary acts to protect what was left of the country, and their battle was one fought by deception and in silence.”

The historian goes on to describe that, on a practical level, the Guard was pressed by police authorities all over the country, demanding intelligence on infiltrators. The connection to law enforcement, via the Home Office, cannot be overestimated, according to him.

Unfortunately, the Coast Guard were, for the most part, not trained as policemen. Their regimen was more military than investigative, but their job in this case more investigative than military. There was a serious mismatch between training and expected performances. Pressed by police authorities, the Guard began passing off the ludicrous and baseless claims as intelligence, contributing to unfair suspicion of ethnic Dayashinese people elsewhere in Themiclesia.

“If what you believe a spy looked like was sufficiently ambiguous, you will keep finding spies,” Martin observes. “And if you took those people’s characteristics to be indicative of spying, the number of spies you find would grow uncontrollably.”

The Guard’s training was dictated by the needs of the time. Not only did they need to board and check ships for suspicious men and goods, they were also expected earlier in the war to churn out excess men to the front. The government decided to milk the Guard for soldiers, and the Guard accounted for this need.

“There are many conclusions to be drawn from this situation, and few would be provably wrong. One that is provably wrong is to believe that the Guard purposefully trained its men to be racist or xenophobic or difficult to reason with,” he concludes.

“My father was expelled from the Marines for affray,” Mr. Ikama told us. “According to him, a member of the Coast Guard accosted him in broad daylight and asked what was he spying for. After explanation devolved into insult, he punched one of them and shouted they were undermining national unity in war. In my view, that is a polite alternative to saying they were slandering a soldier who had freely pledged his life to defend his country.”

A third angle from which to understand the unfair suspicion that Dayashinese people suffered during the PSW is the fractured jurisdictions of Themiclesian government.

Like Mitama remembered, few members of the national cabinet or legislature would advocate for empty suspicion against Dayashinese people, who numbered at least 100,000 by the 40s. In contrast, local authorities and with them the police were often less broad-minded when providing for local security. The Home Office, which supervised the police forces, felt bound to err on the side of vigilance when it authorized the Coast Guard’s ham-fisted and botched plans to root out infiltrators.

The Dayashinese formed a powerful lobby in Kien-k’ang through their thorough business federations and actively engaged in politics, even during wartime. Without the lobby’s influence, it seems possible the Marines would not have allowed such a massive migration of a minority group into its ranks. The lobby acted decisively to protect members of the diaspora and demanded credit for their sacrifices

Even though the ordinance forbidding Dayashinese people from joining the Guard was rescinded in 1953, one did not join until 1970, and Dayashinese officers were not commissioned until 1978.

“This speaks of a lingering feeling in the Guard that their security policy had not adequately protected the country, especially after a second nearly-successful attempt on the emperor in mid-1941. That was when the Guard decided all marines were automatically suspicious because infiltrators could very well pretend to be a non-Dayashinese marine.”

“To me, this means the Guard has studied the potential reaction of infiltrators to their policies. After two attempts on the crown, the Home Secretary demanded additional action, and the Navy Secretary chose to stay out of the war. The Guard had always felt that they were the first line of defence against lawbreaking, and it’s this attitude informs of their drastic and unrestrained response.”

In this discussion the principal focus is usually on the Coast Guard’s erroneous policies, which can be interpreted as a lateral transferral of an attitude for searching potentially hostile ships onto fellow soldiers. However, the Marines’ own responsibilities are rarely explored.

Prevailing wisdom is that the Marines officers felt unable to investigate their ranks without creating such discord that greater dangers, perhaps open revolt, manifest. This is supported by some accounts, but those are also complicated by apologetic tone and potentially teleological aim.

“A portion of officers in the Marine Corps in 1940, frankly, didn’t want to be there. They were forbidden from selling back to the government due to shortage of cash, so the War Office transferred those that wanted to fight to the front and kept the rest in the rear, a sensible policy in my view,” Mir, a professor of history explains. “Thus, the units in the rear, the ones affected by the infiltration, were commanded by reluctant officers who wanted to do as little as legally possible. Due to appointment procedures at the time, there was a high concentration of inactive officers overseeing rear units.”

“They were assisted by the notion that, legally speaking, none of them were qualified to investigate infiltrations, which should therefore be left to the police or, per an Admiralty ordinance in 1915, to the Coast Guard,” Mir continued. “The ordinance reads that the Coast Guard has power to arrest marines if found drunk, naked, or misbehaving on dry land. It leaves us with the strange deduction that Marines officers were partly responsible for their men’s mistreatment.”

“Ultimately, it was neither the euphemistic ‘waiting game’ of the Marines nor the unhinged aggression of the Guard’s ground units that addressed the infiltration risk. It was the strong desire of Dayashinese people to fight back against unfair suspicion that led to a series of voluntary checks, which ultimately made infiltrators’ actions more apparent and easily apprehended.”

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Themiclesia
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Founded: Feb 12, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Themiclesia » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:29 am

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Mar. 1, 2021

Tonning celebrates abalone festival

Kien-k’ang • On Feb. 28, the city of Tonning celebrated the annual abalone festival that has been an ongoing event since 1960. Blessed with a natural coast and an active diving community, the city was, for centuries, the largest producer and marketplace of that delicacy.

A grand total of 116 restauranteurs congregated from across the country to show off their culinary skills, some consider traditionalism their greatest asset and others their innovative recipes that combine techniques from foreign states.

The consumption of abalone in Themiclesia is believed to have been introduced from Menghe, since the 1400s. It since became a barometer for a premium restaurant’s skill, given the rigours in its preparation.

Abalone may be consumed fresh or after a lengthy drying process, with the latter being considered correct in haute cuisine. Both styles were well-represented in the day’s proceedings, and many exhibitors demonstrated their grasp of both.

Abalone is not valued purely by weight: larger abalones are more desirable and disproportionately expensive than smaller ones. In traditional fashion, abalone are rated in terms of do, which represents its mass as a fraction of a heavy-pound, or 660 g. A one-do abalone weighs fully a heavy-pound, or 660 g or more; a two-do weighs at least 1/2 of that, or between 330 and 660 g; a three-do weighs 1/3, and so forth.

These days, any abalone heavier than six-do is considered large, and anything larger than three-do is elusive. Due to overfishing and pollution, Themiclesian abalone have taken a nosedive in numbers since the beginning of the century, and the vast majority of the abalones served today are imports. Most of the imports, in turn, come from Menghe.

“There is very little difference in taste,” chef Mark Marksby said, “even the most adroit connoisseurs would be challenged to distinguish a Menghean abalone from a Dayashinese one, or one from Sundan or Maracaibo. Most commercially-harvested abalones are the same species, and any difference in taste comes through distinct diets. These differences are almost completely masked by the cooking process, which is responsible for most of the taste.”

Meanwhile, a collector is proudly displaying his abalones in a glass case from which he never quite diverts his gaze. 100 of the abalones are marked as two-do, and a handful are marked as “superior” two-do, i.e. weighing 465 g or more.

“That category exists because of the geometric nature of the rating formula. The smallest two [do] is about half the mass of the largest, so the category is split in half,” the collector Mr. Kjat said.

While wild catches frequently weigh 2 or 3 kg, the catch is that rating is carried out without the heavy mineral shell and after the flesh is fully dried, which causes it to lose as much as 80% of its mass. A first-rate specimen weighs 3 to 5 kg when fresh and with its shell, and it would not have reached this size without an estimated 30 years of growth. The largest abalone ever caught weighed 6.5 kg, of which 3.5 kg was flesh; its shell measured nearly 12 inches.

After being caught, the better abalone are set aside and are dried in sunlight for up to three years. The less desirable ones typically are consumed fresh or made into canned abalones.

A year ago, renovation works at the Middle Palace uncovered several large urns of abalones buried several feet into the ground, probably in the 1930s. Abalones were a favourite at the royal court due to the complexity of their preparation and generally agreeable flavour. As the abalones were dried and carefully wrapped in moisture-wicking fabrics, they appear still edible.

One of the urns contained 220 abalones that were first-rate or larger; the largest weighed 788 g, and the smallest 658, but the latter appears to have lost moisture underground, meaning it was probably over 660 g when initially buried. Each abalone was carefully labeled as “for appointed use”, i.e. destined to the royal table.

It remains a mystery why such a large cache of premium food was forgotten, but the dispersal of the kitchen staff when the royal family left the capital city in 1936 may have meant the officers who buried the food in an effort to preserve it never returned to the palace. Many economies required by the war were never eased after it, especially at the Emperor’s effort to avoid waste or, equally, the appearance of waste.

Abalone have the distinction as the only ingredient served whole at a royal banquet, as it was iconic and luxurious enough that changing its appearance would render it less impressive.

All the dried abalones served at the festival today have been prepared according to a fairly standard method. First, the abalones must be rehydrated; the soaking process takes up to 12 days for the largest abalones. Then, they must be steamed and soaked alternately several times. Only after this does real cooking begin—the flavorants like bacon, chicken, scallops, and ham encase the abalones in a stew, which lasts, again, several days depending on the size of the abalones.

Abalones, particularly dried ones, are openly traded in Tonning, and they have recently been recognized as an instrument for investment in recent decades.

“A third-rate cost around $600 twenty years ago,” Mr. Kaw said. “Today, it fetches ten times that price. A second-rate fetches triple or quadruple that. I have not seen a first-rate specimen since I was a young man, which is a long time ago.”

“When the Tyrannian king and queen visited in 2016, I remember first-rate abalone being served at the top table,” a former royal chef recounted for us. “They came out of a special storage and were marked as having been put there between 1959 and 1971. Our royal family does not usually have such large abalone on its menu—especially since the late emperor had difficulty swallowing in his final years.

“When I was apprenticing at a restaurant—one that specialized in abalones, shark fin, and other dried delicacies to be braised—I was taught that an abalone must always soke for long enough.

“They told us to braise a delicacy without soaking sufficiently was a not merely a culinary but a moral sin. Fishing for sharks in the high seas and diving for abalone and sea cucumbers carried an inherent risk, which deserves the respect of good treatment. A second-rate should soke for at least 12 days, and a first-rate for 20 days.”

The accepted practice when describing abalone in Themiclesia is to state the smaller rating if the specimen’s weight falls between two rates. Thus, a 659 g abalone should technically be called second-rate, even though it is 1 g off from the 660 g standard for first-rate.

“This standard is always adhered to when dining at better establishments, which require reservations. At one point, it was common to use a scale to show the customer, making reservations in person, that they were not short-changed, since it was usually impossible to tell how heavy an abalone is once soaked.”

The fact that most abalone today are imports also complicates this question, as other states have their own standards in describing abalone.

“I have received shipments that claim to be second-rates from Meridia, but they often weigh around 220 or so grams, while the cut-off is 330 g in Themiclesia. This is not fraudulent, because their unit of measurement is smaller, and the weight is closer to a second-rate than a third-rate.” Mr. Chi claimed. “We always check the actual weight of the specimens before selling it to domestic customers, and we advise other buyers to do the same.

“Some merchants or restauranteurs rate fresh abalone in lieu of dry ones. Gastronomically, fresh and dry abalone are different, just like steak and jerky are different. Furthermore, the same abalone weighs several times more fresh than dried. Another common tactic is to dry abalone partly, which allows it to retain more water content and thus weight; this is not only fraudulent but actually unhealthy, as partly-dry abalone can go off easily. Be weary of anything fourth-rate or heavier, and you would be best advised to inspect products visually.

“Recently, there was a reported case where a customer exposed a restaurant serving a ‘fourth-rate’ abalone that weighed only 50 g on the plate. That turned out to be a canned abalone. A ‘fourth’ in that standard means there are four in a single can, which weighs around 200 g internationally. A dry fourth-rate should weigh no less than 165 g, and when cooked should be no less than 250 – 300 g. This confusion is particularly common in tourist traps, so visitors should consider a trustworthy travel agency or local guides to prevent similar disappointment.”

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