Our newsletter, The Cable, aims to build communications between our embassies. Please share this with your region-mates by posting a link on your RMB!
I'm thinking of taking a break from NS, so this might be the last edition. If you're anything like me, you'll have been spending December enjoying the season of sloth, goodwill, and gluttony. Abandoning NS, I indulged in the escapism of real life. Which meant that this month, we only ran a single poll. Luckily, others elsewhere enthusiastically entertained us. Tag raiders Lily kindly took time off from being busy bees, and gave us an interview. It didn't stop them closing some of our embassies at the same time though! Luckily for us, The Grey Wardens thwarted some of their attempts to close more. And, unusually for an embassy collector, I asked some other regions to help me close embassies.
But if you're just thinking, "I don't care about any of this. Why did I get a notification?", then this section is for you.
Bringing multiple regions together, Aynia Moreaux, Miss Bad Life Choices, The Vanguard Fleet, and Wymondham organised an exceptional schedule of entertainments throughout December. Besides the fun, the aim was to raise funds for The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project describe themselves as "The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25."
Having started with a $100 fund-raising target, support quickly went through the roof, achieving an astounding $3400 by Christmas day. But there's still time to boost that a little higher - make a donation here!
In the US, the recent election was deemed to be fair by the international community. This view has been supported by the US courts, where dozens of accusations of voter fraud have been found to be baseless. The same is not the case elsewhere in the world - in Uganda, the EU aren't even bothering to send observers, as their previous recommendations have been ignored. With low faith in election impartiality, what will happen when Ugandans vote on 14 Jan? Keep up with the news here.
AR: Am I right in thinking that all these embassies are with regions that you tag-raided? Do you always open embassies with tagged regions?
Frenchy: Always. Though Ambassadors Reception, some of the embassies on Plum Island are trophies and delicious regions like Obama Moment, one of my favorites. The embassies are essential.
AR: *Throws you a meaningful dirty look* And do you always have to close their other embassies?
Frenchy: *Catches the dirty look and dunks it like Michael Jordan* Yes. Absolutely.
AR: Conventional wisdom says that raiders only target founderless regions. Yet that's not the case with you. Why is that?
Frenchy: Including founders gives more targets. More targets means more hits. More hits means more embassies.
AR: Do you think you were one of the first raider groups to include foundered regions as targets? If so, why do you suppose no-one else bothered before?
Frenchy: Beats me man. These are just tags anyway.AR: 1473 is an impressive total. Back in May, you had only 43 embassies. It took only 23 days for you to open over 1000 new embassies. What motivated this latest burst of activity?
The Lily Command Hivemind:
I am the bone of my salt
Chloride is my body
Sodium is my blood
I have tagged over a thousand regions
Unaware of net loss
Nor aware of net gain
Withstood pain to tag regions, waiting for a condemnation
I have no regrets. This is the only path.
My whole life was Unlimited Salt Works
AR: What were the major milestones in your NS career before joining Lily?
Frenchy: Literally nothing.
AR: After the Predator scandal, it seemed that most of Gameplay shied away from automation. Lily on the other hand embraced the use of bots. Can you tell us the names of the bots you've developed, and what makes each better than the previous bot?
Frenchy: We use the almighty Buzzy Bee which spits out targets when we ask nicely. Its predecessor was Miso which was kind of similar but a little less accurate and wasn't adjusted for some site changes iirc. Chingis honestly just gets more toxeen every time we need a new one and it helps us out a bit.
AR: Back in September, Chingis was temporarily deleted when some code testing accidentally broke site rules. Can you reveal what that enhancement was supposed to do? And was it worth the shock of getting deleted!?
Frenchy: Chingis was testing a new N Day script at the time, but ran into a site-side error that lead to breaking a non-scripting rule. The mods restored his nation after he explained what had happened. From what I gather he figured out the issue pretty quickly and it was no huge deal.
AR: These are some cool bits of kit. Is there much cross-over between your NS coding and real life? For example, maybe you handed the code in as a homework assignment for computing class?
Frenchy: I would never dare tell a soul that I play NationStates. Though one time I made a pretty fun game about vaping for a computer class.
AR: There have been numerous Condemnations of Lily drafted in the Security Council forum. Mostly by people who don't understand how the SC works. You guys have broken a number of NS raiding records. If you were to write your own Condemnation, which of your records would you choose to include? Which are you proudest of, and why?
Frenchy: 576 hits in an update across three teams and 270 and 233 on one team. I would doubt people breaking those numbers with an equal or better hits per person.
AR: Many people seem to have a soft spot for Lily, but not so much for other raider groups. Why do you suppose that is?
Frenchy: Lily possesses a certain ability which is not explainable in objective terminology, rather it speaks for itself why we are held in such high regard. Though I will attempt to do so using a quote, AR, from a favorite song of mine. As the great Bill Withers once said, "If you want to kiss a funky beagle, hitch a ride upon an eagle, read a catalog from Spiegel, Go on and do it, do it, do it, go on and do it, do it, do it hey, do it, do it to it, but do it good."
AR: I have to ask this one. Back in July, Lardyland was tag raided by joint forces from Lily, The Grey Wardens, and the South Pacific. The suggestion at the time was that this was politically motivated. But to me, Lardyland has never seemed anything but spammy and stupid. What was the story behind that raid?
Frenchy: It was funny. TGW and TSP probably have other reasons but mine was plain and simple.
AR: If you could change one thing about NS, what would it be?
Frenchy: I absolutely despise the WA elite. Once you have one hundred endorsements, halve the voting power than a delegate currently has right now. We step on the little guy way too much.
AR: Thanks for your time!
Frenchy: AR, I'd like to leave you with some wisdom. Sometimes the big walleye of life will lick ya while you're just standing in the lake trying to fish. These ankle biters will lick ya real good, but there's ultimately no purpose to running from the scars they leave. Ya just gotta hook em when ya have the chance. Thanks for having me.
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The Grey Wardens gave themselves the best Christmas present ever - a record breaking 118 defenses by a team during a ninety minute session. Click the link to get the story in their own words. Or here, to get it in Lily's.
For several months now, we've had a policy not to maintain embassies with regions tagged 'fascist'. We'd been avoiding opening embassies with those regions for far longer, but had never actively closed any until we were bribed with this offer:
For some reason, certain players are still under the delusion that the threat of violence forced us to take on this policy. Being raiders, they don't get that there are methods of persuasion other than threatening to raid. Methods such as bribery (above), and simply asking politely.
It was never part of the deal with Vippertooth to do anything other than close those embassies that we had. However, it got me thinking about my responsibilities as a citizen of NS, and a citizen of the world. So about six weeks back, it only took a small prompt from another player for me to send this message to 24 of Nazi region Genua's embassies:
I'm hoping that you could do me a small favour, and help isolate hate. You have an embassy with Genua. Genua promotes an agenda of hate, spreading Islamophobia, and anti-semitic Nazi ideologies. This is evident from their WFE, RMB, and embassies. It is also well demonstrated in this dispatch where they boast of enslaving muslims, and finish the dispatch with a photo of marching Nazis.
Having an embassy with these people tarnishes your image. When looking at your region, it gives the appearance that you are tolerant of racism, and other hateful behaviours. When looking at their region, it gives the appearance that these behaviours are considered acceptable by the wider NationStates community.
I'm hoping that you would do me, yourselves, and the wider NationStates community a huge favour by taking the small step of closing that embassy with Genua.
Thanks for your time,
A few people took offense at this. Some people would have prefered me to telegram rather than post on their RMB. Others were angry that I was 'telling them what to do', 'interfering in their foreign policy' etc. But more than half chose to close their embassy with Genua, which sent a pretty powerful message.
A few days ago, I spotted that Aryan Resistance had been sending out a load of embassy requests. And a lot were being accepted. Again, the problem is that having these embassies makes racism appear normal and acceptable. Racism should not be normalised. I've sent out over 80 telegrams, very much like the following:
I spotted that your region has an embassy with Aryan Resistance. You may be unaware that Aryan Resistance is named after a racist neo-nazi white supremacist organisation (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Aryan_Resistance).
I don't believe that that type of agenda should have a place within NationStates. I'm hoping that you would reconsider this relationship, and would cancel the embassy via your regional admin page.
Thanks for your time!
At the time of writing, 20 of their established embassies are getting closed, and a number that were getting opened have now been cancelled. I've had over 20 telegrammed responses, including two who don't care and one angry old guy. The rest are all of a similar theme:
Thank you for telling us! It didn't click in my head until you said something, but now I can see it. Had I bothered to pay much attention I might have noticed that.
I am glad you picked up on it. That sort of thing has no place here. Thank you :)
The founder of Aryan Resistance is understandably upset about this, and started a forum thread about it. At the end of their post they ask:
My message to The Ambassadors Reception is: how about you let other people make their own choices instead of shaming them into submision?
Or maybe you can change the part of your WFE saying "connecting thousands to each other through a single, neutral point."
To their first point - I very much let people make their own choices. As demonstrated by our WFE links, I try to provide people with information to make better choices. This is exactly what is happening here. Most people who accepted embassies with Aryan Resistance simply hadn't realised what they'd accepted. There's no shame in that. And for the second point, can you be neutral on racism? If I hadn't sent out those telegrams, wouldn't that have made me complicit in normalising racism?
After over three and a half years of trading, region The NewsStand is being closed down. My intention had been to carry it on here, but I'm thinking of taking a break from NS, so that may not actually happen. For the same reason, The sands casino casino games at The Sands won't be continued.
- Place a sports bet
- Sixth Annual Forest Photo Contest. Get your entries in by 18 January. (You're supposed to be in Forest or one of their embassies, but you might get away with moving a puppet to qualify for entry).
The Diplomacy Awards celebrate the foreign dignitaries that interacted with our RMB in the past month, either by making posts, or clicking 'Like'.
We can't say it straighter - you're the greater orator. This month's premiers of praises per post are:
Likes per Post
* Nations making multiple posts during the month are eligible for The Floored Award.
We think it is great to appreciate a state. This month's 'like' button bashers are:
We get really psyched about those who were 'liked'. This month's most praised posters are:
With thousands of embassies, it is difficult to stay in touch with them all. The Cable uses notifications as the most efficient way to share our news.
You will have received a notification if you have been mentioned somewhere in this dispatch, and have a tick in the "Dispatch mention" box of your subscriptions page.
Almost all nations mentioned will have:
- posted on our RMB during the month
- 'liked' a post on our RMB during the month
- voted in one of our polls during the month
- subscribed (specifically asked to be notified)
If you would prefer not to be notified in future, your choices are:
- Un-tick in the "Dispatch mention" box of your subscriptions page
- Don't interact with our RMB or polls
- Existing subscribers only: send The ambassadors reception a telegram asking to be removed as a subscriber. (Don't ask via our RMB, or it will automatically trigger another notification next time).
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