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This afternoon, I noticed that a month ago I was asked what I thought about the Polaris-NG treaty. Yes, a month, I love you all, but I just don't care too much, anymore. I read my answer at Polaris' forum, and decided that it is sufficiently interesting to me that I know everyone else will be thrilled to read it. You're quite welcome. In all seriousness, even though the treaty itself is old news, the question became a platform to discuss philosophy, and I love talking foreign policy. I understand you're reducing your big FA moment down to a gotcha on me, but here's the serious answer. We will examine my opinion on Polaris' FA decision through the philosophy I have always used in regards to FA, illuminated by personal example. My opinion springs from my ideology, and ideology guides my actions, it all fits. My thoughts/philosophy on treaties in general should be well known enough, by now, (1, 2, 3) but I am keenly aware that my personality has overshadowed my message for a long time. So to recap, in short: First: A treaty is an endorsement, and a partnership, and it ties responsibility for one AA's actions to the other. For example, New Polar Order in 2007 can't PZI 20 people a year without being shored up by 3 or 4 different blocs, or NPO in 2008 can't keep GATO at war indefinitely for using peace mode without having 16 top flight AAs backing them up. Lip service does not change culpability. For example, if OsRavan says "I'm totally against reps" 500 times a day, then sits down in peace talks and says to Cult of Justitia "you will have no peace with ODN until you agree to pay GOONS $200,000,000" and to Legion "you will not have peace until you pay our allies $1 Billion" then what matters? The principles ODN says they hold, or the actions ODN takes? There can be no denying that a treaty is an endorsement and a partnership. Any such denial is intellectual dishonesty at best and in reality is simply a lie politicians tell each other, themselves, and the people in their AAs. Second: Alliances are organic entities. They are not static, they change. Recognition of that fact in foreign affairs and public discourse has always been central to my political stances. For example, Vox Populi was a reactionary popular movement against the Continuum bloc's "hegemony" (I never really liked that word, but that's the parlance)—not because a hegemony existed, but because of how it acted: Viceroys, people banned from being gov, ZI transforming from a harsh punishment to PZI lists as eternal black lists that removed people from the game and then to EZI (parlance again, EZI is just PZI), forced disbandment, OOC attacks by the hegemony against their enemies, and so on. New Pacific Order and New Polar Order were central to that. It was a feedback loop: they did harsh crap by the endorsement of their allies, but their allies often did worse things while NPO/NpO pretended to be more civilized villains—they were all responsible for the results of their power politics, the results of their power politics were the point of their treaties. In 2007-08 New Polar Order wrecked my AA GOONS (which was a vile AA and I was too new to the game to really know it), then spent a year chasing all of us around, PZIing us, threatening alliances we joined, setting up proxy blocs on Black to dominate the Senate, and everything else in the history books. Post-Vox, as the leader of CoJ I penned blistering attacks on New Polar Order. Yet here I am, member of New Polar Order. Because I'm a hypocrite? No, because between the time Polaris PZIed me to the end of Karma, Polaris changed wildly. And then from the time I founded CoJ and wrote that essay to the time I allied CoJ to Polaris and then dissolved CoJ and joined Polaris, Polaris had undergone even more transformations. Therefore: Treaties and military cooperation are endorsement and culpability; therefore, alliances should choose allies whose actions align with their character and ideals, or accept the hypocrisy that their actions are at odds with their identity and move on. (Realpolitik is just that, the allegiance to a distasteful ally to get a hard job done.) But the prospective allies out their, alliances, are not beholden to the past. There is no inherent hypocrisy in allying an alliance that wasn't in line with one's ideals 5 years ago or even 5 weeks ago for that matter if they have changed. There is no hypocrisy in recognizing change. People make lazy ad hominem arguments, obsess about my over-the-top persona and ego, and simply label any shifting allegiance I make as "hypocrisy" or selling out. These processes are a complicated ideological discernment and judgement. Politics from ideology is complicated, people don't like it, they don't like to wade through it. What do I think about this treaty in particular? I haven't paid any attention at all to Planet Bob in at least a year. I've been quiet because I hate retractions; I don't post unless I know. It's fun to stick my head out and rip on OsRavan once a year, but it's also simply the case that the past is just about the only topic I'm informed to speak on intelligently. I don't know if this treaty is realpolitik, or if Non Grata has become significantly different to a degree that you're a perfect fit for Polaris. Or maybe Polaris has changed sufficiently that we're a perfect fit for an unchanged Non Grata (in which case I'll start AA shopping :P ) A dear old friend left Polaris because of this treaty, I respect his discernment and principled stance for his own nation. If there is a meeting of minds between NG and Polaris, I'm glad we're working together. If Polaris and NG are engaged in realpolitik, that's a reality an idealist like me has to swallow sometimes to get things done (I always was a chaos agent with a conscience, myself)—my problem would be if Polaris lent its NS to seriously bad behavior, or if Polaris shifted what should be a short-term cooperation (realpolitik) into a long term FA position (hypocrisy). I said "in short" so there you have it, Schattenmann is a liar.
[center] [/center] Good evening, and welcome to This Week in GATO, your number one source for news and entertainment from that shining beacon of dogged democracy, Digiterra's oldest and most senile alliance, GATO. I am your humble host Schattenmann here to make this war official: TWiG is on! When we think GATO, what do we think; what is the essence of GATO? It is of course democracy. In darker days, it was GATO's democracy which made GATO the perfect foil for its autocratic arch-nemesis. But democracy doesn't mean just one thing on this old planet of ours; inside an alliance it might mean a vote, but on the world stage we often speak of the democracy of action, or, "voting with your feet." And with that in mind, tonight we ask Who's in Charge Here? There is nothing left under the sun to say about peace mode: In practice, it is either a tactic or a joke. Unfortunately, what begins as a tactic all too often ends as a joke. The early days of any war see a lot of PM as folks watch the dominoes fall, but given GATO's history, the ridicule started early for GATO. I tell you tonight, friends, GATO's intentions were golden: His orders posted, the polls opened in GATO's military, unfortunately the vote was one of no confidence. Six days later, the response of GATO's top tier a resounding "No, thanks!" MagicNinja once again ascended the lectern: So, who's in charge here? Power in GATO, it seems, lies squarely with the people. Promises, Promises: A Musical Interlude https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWNJlc-IylY context Never had a doubt In the beginning Never a doubt Trusted too true In the beginning You made me promises promises Knowing I'd believe Promises promises You knew you'd never keep context Second time around I'm still believing words that you said You said you'd always be here "In war mode forever" Still repeats in my head You can't finish what you start If this is war it breaks my heart You made me promises promises You knew you'd never keep Promises promises Why do I believe? Arm in arm EQ laughed like kids At all the silly things GATO did You can't finish what you start If this is war it breaks my heart "Do not disappoint me again." With all rumors indicating that the war is all-but-over, you might expect GATO is ready to get out of the house, stretch its legs, and give us a good show after all its promises. You'd be wrong. Believing that the war would be over in the next week or two, MagicNinja once again took to the bully pulpit and ordered GATO out of peace mode--all of them. Not one month from the 26th, as promised, but nearly two. According to plan, by March 16th, Legion and RnR should have been in the middle of a cascading down-nuke nightmare. "You have embarrassed me." A full week after his orders, GATO remains firmly ensconced in peace mode. The grand final offensive against Legion and RnR? The "strong finish"? GATO nations in peace mode 11 days after deadline to leave peace mode: 58% (112/193) Wars declared by GATO 3/14-3/17: 29 The people of GATO are just not up to it. What can explain the refusal of the electorate to obey the orders of the MoD they elected? The vote has been cast, Doom House has lost. Meanwhile, in R&R . . . The alarm sounded by TWIG field reporters, R&R's government had alerted its members to the planned assault on March 12. Indeed. Imagine my embarrassment at having alerted fellow Equilibrium alliances of not one, but two GATO assaults which never came. Double Standards, A Cyber Nations Game And on a final note, as a matter of due diligence, the interns here at TWiG attacked one of the 4 GATO nations not in peace mode in the range of Schloss Eggenberg. Busy not being in charge of anything except his own nation, MagicNinja quickly noticed and reached out with this message: That's right, faithful viewers, after keeping GATO's military in peace mode for the entirety of the war, after ordering GATO to attack only once he believed the war was over, GATO's Minister of Defense believes that yours truly is pathetic. I do believe we've found a pinhead. That's it for tonight! I hope you have had as much fun as we have here at TWiG. For everyone here, I am Schattenmann wishing you goodnight and good luck on this, the eleventh day since GATO was ordered out of peace mode. The war is gone, another war has gone from us, it's gone away. It'll be back in 6 months, though so until then ho-ho, ho-hooooo So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good-bye! I hate to go and leave this bloody siiiight.
In case you have not noticed, there is a new CN radio network, CyberNations International Broadcasting. Bloodfury and bros have put in a huge amount of work to put up the infrastructure, and several DJs have begun populating the network. After much pushing and pulling, Bloodfury got me to sign on to a bi-weekly show Thursdays at 9 PM EST (8 PM server). This week in CN will be a political talkshow dedicated to current events and interviews with headline-makers. Shows will be archived and re-played for those who couldn't tune in for the live broadcast. Our first show saw Pacifican Emperor and Bootleg Radio host Brehon as the guest for the hour. It will air again on Monday the 19th at 8 PM EST (7 PM server). Future re-runs might not be in that timeframe depending on how the DJ schedule pans out (right now that time slot is not occupied). After each replay, I'll post a link to a permanent stream. You can tune in directly from the network's forum, or via your favorite media program (WinAMP, WMP, REAL, or Quicktime) here: http://www.cnib-group.com/boards/index.php Enjoy!
Hm, it's been so long since I wrote a blog that for a minute I was unsure if I picked "Schattenmann's Disused Blog" as a subtitle, or if the forum knows. I guess I knew myself pretty well to have picked that. On to it. There it is. The image that made Monday more than the crummy first day of the week. The header that helped reshape the world; my own small contribution. The image thousands anticipated every week, and for everyone that read it transformed me from a scrappy troll to the face of a revolution sticking it to the man with witty commentary that assigned global importance to the most mundane daily activities like tech dealing. I love to write, I always have. I like to debate, even argue. TWiP was the culmination of my best work and a weekly platform to have fun doing it. And I can't stand it. In the past year, the memory of Vox really has gone from the public mind. Just as we all promised, as soon as it appeared that the fight was over, we all scattered to the wind; I haven't really spoken to anyone from Vox since we dissolved. Vox's showing in the CN Awards was pathetic, even if MK hadn't been in the polls. My former viewers think of me only in that context from a part of their minds which has collectively faded. Every venture onto the public scene is a step into the critical mob: TWiP, TWiP, TWiP, TWiP, TWiP! It's all I hear! My magnum opus turned leg-iron. The bit of past yoked onto my neck. What's worse, seeking to find the audience again, I parody myself: These necromantic ventures disgust me. Shoulders sagging with the weight of my past and public expectation, throat tight with ire, mouth drawn, I put on my clown suit for everyone's benefit. I'm tired of it now; I don't want to be the host of TWiP anymore. For Shadow's Vault, I'm Schattenmann, on this: the 271st day since the last TWiP.