From the King: Überstadt at eight

The first Überstadti constitution, signed 6 March 2010, declared that the state it established would be an example of “peace, hope, and brotherly love.” This line gave us the motto we have had for most of our history: Pacem et spem, “peace and hope.” This Independence Day, I wish to reflect on what these words mean at this moment in our nation’s history.

I think that today, Überstadt is more at peace than ever before. I do not mean that we only recently found peace in the community of small nations; we have never been a country that attracts enemies. The sort of peace I see in the Kingdom today might be better described as concord. We are free of major rifts among our people, and have nation-building as a point of consensus.

This was not always so. Like most small nations, our earliest years were considerably more chaotic. We had our share of unnecessary show trials, questionable elections, and politicians whose sole purpose was to destabilize the nation. In the recent past, we found a way to grow and seek new opportunities without threatening stability or sanity. Today, all our citizens agree to key values and participation in our direct democracy. We have diverse citizens with unique interests and insights, all interested in doing something constructive for their nation. We will be able to find special roles for them all. From collegiality, we gain concord.

The achievement of domestic peace is a cause for hope. It means we are free from the turmoil of the past and well-equipped to build a strong nation together. I have faith in the Überstadti people, and affirm my commitment to helping them make this realm something in which they find a reflection of themselves. As Überstadt turns eight, I invite them to define the next eight years.



King opens Parliament, nominates ministers

ROSEWOOD – King Adam gave a speech opening Überstadt’s ninth parliament tonight, announcing his government’s priorities and welcoming new citizens. He then submitted his cabinet nominations for the legislature’s approval.

A major emphasis of the king’s speech (text available here) was building national unity. The government proposes integrating new citizens through actively working to find them roles in national life, as well as through distributing Überstadti flags to citizens free of charge. A system of grants to fund cultural celebrations is also proposed.

Sustainable development was another focus of the speech. The king’s announced program for economic growth and environmental protection largely follows existing precedent, highlighting watershed health and the control of industry-related pollution, with a focus on conservation as a way of preserving indigenous rights. One major policy shift is new support for transferring public-owned economic cooperatives to the control of their workers, similar to Juclandia’s 2013 reforms promoting a socialistic private sector.

For the first time since 2016’s moratorium on welfare and taxes, the government will address the question of public revenue by implementing what the speech described as a “voluntary head tax,” which would recommend a specific level of financial contribution from all citizens. Since this practice would technically be a continuation of the current practice of all-volunteer donations to the treasury, it may move forward without legislation. The king’s speech also endorsed the creation of an online shop for selling Überstadti memorabilia.

Toward the end of his address, Adam turned to national security, declaring that “more must be done to prepare our citizens and infrastructure for emergencies of all sorts.” He proposed using the military as a vehicle for increasing citizens’ preparedness against physical and cyber threats.

After completing the ceremonial speech and seeing it posted to the online venue of Parliament, the king nominated his new cabinet. He seeks to retain himself as environment minister and the Baroness Rosewood as culture minister, appoint citizen William H. economy minister, and himself take charge of the treasury.

King graduates from university

ROSEWOOD – On 16 December, King Adam graduated from Western Washington University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History, in a ceremony conferring more than 740 undergraduate and 40 postgraduate degrees. His parents were in attendance.

While at the university, the King earned numerous honors. He became a member of three honor societies, appeared three times of the President’s List for perfect quarterly grade point averages, and by faculty invitation, presented during the university’s Scholars Week honoring undergraduate research. He also delivered a paper at this year’s Northwest regional conference of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society in the United States. His senior thesis, “Joining the ‘Empire of the Whites’: Fort Nisqually’s Families and American Colonization, 1846-1860,” received a grade of A and was praised by the curator of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, who added the paper to the museum’s research collection. In his final quarter of studies, he completed and received an A in a graduate history and methods course, taken by faculty invitation. He completed an academic minor in political science with a perfect grade point average. By a quirk of grade calculation, his graduation honors were announced at the commencement ceremony as cum laude, but upgraded after final scores for this quarter were tallied.

As a student, the King was involved in various extracurricular activities. He served one academic year as secretary, and another as president, of an environmental education club, and spent two years on the university’s Model United Nations team. In this latter capacity, he attended eight Model United Nations conferences and crisis simulations, winning several awards. He began staffing conferences this past spring. Additionally, he taught an adult Sunday school class for over a year and participated in political campaigns on campus and in the surrounding community.

The King began attending Western Washington as a junior in January 2016, after completing general education requirements at a Washington state community college in June 2014 and working in food service, academic tutoring, and political campaigning until resuming his studies. Measured in credits earned, he completed a quarter of his postsecondary education while in high school, having attended the community college part-time his final two years of compulsory schooling.

Crown Prince Aaron resigns posts, commences mission

ROSEWOOD – On Tuesday night, Crown Prince Aaron resigned command of His Majesty’s Navy and leadership of the Treasury, prior to the Wednesday start of his missionary service.

As previously reported, King Adam is to take custody of the Treasury, and intends to offer naval command to a retired American general. Other high-level shakeups are anticipated in the next month, with the King’s office indicating its intention to open a new session of Parliament.

Crown Prince Aaron will spend about six weeks in the Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before proceeding to his two-year proselytizing assignment in the vicinity of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Record berry haul in Rosewood

BELLINGHAM, Washington – Figures released by the economy ministry indicate that this year’s harvest of berries in Rosewood’s farms was the largest recorded, with raspberries proving by far the most successful Überstadti crop.

The total mass of all crops weighed by officials over the summer was 3.1 kilos, with 2.8 kilos combined of berries. Raspberries alone accounted for nearly two-fifths of the total harvest, at more than 1.2 kilos. Other crops included blueberries, huckleberries, and strawberries, as well as snap peas. Two volunteer stalks of wheat also grew, the berries of which are now in storage.

Although the scope of agriculture in Überstadt is far too small to contribute much to meeting residents’ nutritional needs, this year has seen domestically-grown fruits play an important symbolic role in national life. Fresh, domestic produce became a common evening snack in the capital. Both wild and cultivated berries featured in popular desserts, including at the Royal Family’s celebration of the Harvest Festival.

Small-scale farming may be more significant to the country’s culture than its subsistence, but Rosewood Fruits cooperative workers are taking steps to improve next year’s raspberry yield even further. They recently properly pruned the canes for the first time, and are preparing plans for trellising and fertilization.

Crown Prince Aaron called to missionary service in North Carolina

ROSEWOOD – Crown Prince Aaron of Überstadt has been accepted for two years of missionary service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) and assigned to the church’s North Carolina Raleigh Mission in the southeastern United States. He is assigned to preach in the Spanish language, and will commence service on 6 December of this year.

Aaron applied to the LDS missionary program earlier this summer and received a letter from church leadership extending his call last Saturday, though he delayed opening it until today so it could be done in the presence of the entire Royal Family. Several of the prince’s friends were also present at the “opening party,” as the phenomenon is known.

This mission will prevent Aaron from fulfilling the duties of his Überstadti offices, so he will resign his roles as Admiral of HM Navy and Secretary of the Treasury. Sterling MacLeod, a retired Brigadier General in the Massachusetts National Guard, is to be given command of the navy, while King Adam will resume custody of the treasury.

Most Mormon men, as well as many women, serve volunteer proselytizing missions in their early adulthood. These missions are full-time commitments that involve putting most secular affairs on hold, including education and courtship.

National contest held for international art show submission

ROSEWOOD – Überstadt’s participation in the 1st Venedigbiennalen for Micronations has been confirmed, and the Culture Ministry is holding a national competition to choose an artwork to send to the show in Sweden this September.

King Adam sent an announcement to all citizens Saturday night that they are all invited to submit works of art for consideration to send to the exhibition, which will be the first major international display of micronational art. The Überstadti government intends to feature all citizen submissions in a future publication aimed at highlighting artistic achievement in Überstadt.

The Vendigbiennalen will feature public displays of micronational art of various media in “micro-pavilions” roughly the size of birdhouses. According to the event website, the exhibit’s opening will feature “micro-speeches” and “micro-celebrations.” Other participating nations include Aerica and Ladonia.