Category Archives: Bricklyn History

Have a donut

Kudos to the CuDo! A Look at Bricklyn’s Unique Currency

  • by Paul B. Macro, Bricklyn Eagle Business & Economics Correspondent
  • August 10, 2021

Summary of Article ➤ Bricklyn’s official currency is the CopperDonut. Learn about the fascinating history of the “CuDo” and how it relates to both the Republic of Vermont and donuts.

The Realm of Bricklyn’s CopperDonut is modeled after the Republic of Vermont’s Coppers. The reverse side of a one CuDo coin is shown here. Current value of a one CuDo is approx. 75 cents U.S.

The CopperDonut — or CuDo 🍩 as it is commonly called — is Bricklyn’s official currency, adopted in 1971 to replace the Danish krone.

The CuDo both honors Vermont (which welcomed in LEGO immigrants from the Danish Realm) and recognizes the key role that donuts play in Bricklyn, which bills itself as The Donut Capital of America.

➤ During the 14 years of its existence, the independent Vermont Republic used its own currency, including from 1785-1788 copper coins. The Coppers were minted by Reuben Harmon, Jr. of Rupert, with a view of the Sun rising over the Green Mountains, on its obverse side, and the “all-seeing eye of Providence” surrounded by 13 stars on the reverse.

It should be noted that the Federal Council 🌀 in 1971 considered replacing the Danish Krone with the U.S. Dollar, but Bricklynites at that time were angered by U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war. As a result the Federal Council responded to public pressure by nixing the original plan to adopt the dollar, choosing instead to issue its own currency, the CopperDonut.

The CopperDonut’s Design

It was in appreciation of Vermont’s assistance in the founding of the Tri-Partite Realm of Bricklyn 🌀 that Bricklyn’s founders decided to name and model their new currency after the Copper — the late 18th century Vermont Republic’s currency — using a slightly modified version of the Copper’s “Eye of Providence” design.

Real, tasty, Bricklyn donuts in their right hands; CopperDonut coins in their left.

At the same time, the newly formed Bricklyn Chamber of Commerce felt that the importance of donuts to Bricklyn should also be recognized in the Realm’s new coins.

Thus the similarity in look of the coin to a donut (though the coin is actually about 15 percent thinner than a typical donut).

Of course, being roughly the size, shape, and heft of an actual donut makes the CuDo an inordinately challenging piece of currency to carry around in a purse or pocket, despite the fact that the blended copper is wafer thin — less than the amount of jelly in a jelly donut. As a result some Bricklynites have taken to using CuDo containers.

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As a practical matter, paper CuDo notes are more widely used, but the historic coin CuDo remains popular among Bricklynites!

The CuDo is not without a special kind of risk: cracked teeth.

This happens when individuals (often drunk, stoned, or donut-crazed) inadvertently bite into a CuDo thinking it’s a baked donut.

Another dental patient who bit into a CuDo mistaking it for a fresh baked donut.

Biting into the thin layer of copper inside a CuDo can cause dental damage, perhaps explaining why Bricklyn has an inordinately high number of dentists! ✥

Chief Prognosticator of the Realm

by Walt Brickman, Editor, The Bricklyn Eagle

Summary of Article ➤ You’ve undoubtedly already heard references in our posts to the Chief Prognosticator. We felt some readers might appreciate more background on this quite important position. For your convenience, we’re also adding this entry to our online Glossary.

The Chief Prognosticator play a key role in Bricklyn, as that individual’s advice is often given great weight by members of the Federal Council🌀 (and by all citizens of the Realm🌀) on matters of “high significance affecting the future of Bricklyn.”

While the position bears some similarities to the “Wise Elders” role in Native American tribes, it also draws on the tradition of oracles and prophets, though the Chief Prognosticator is clearly not a religious position, nor does it involve any sort of fantastical precognition. Most importantly, the Chief Prognosticator and his/her staff in the Office of the Chief Prognosticator (OCP) rely heavily on scientific research and data in their predictive reports, and often consult with the Realm’s Chief Historian.

➤ Some readers might reasonably ask whether Bricklyn’s founders drew inspiration for the Chief Prognosticator’s role from Isaac Asimov’s “psychohistorian” Hari Seldon. Principal Historian Winifred Tiler Jackson discounts this possibility, as no references to Asimov are to be found in archival material about the Bricklyn Constitution’s establishment of the position of Chief Prognosticator. However, it must be acknowledged that many Bricklynites of all ages are Asimov fans!

It almost goes without saying that the position of Chief Prognosticator is completely non-partisan. Also worth noting, the minimum age for being appointed is a young 60!

How the Chief Prognosticator is Selected

As required by the Constitution of the Realm of Bricklyn, the Chief Prognosticator is chosen and appointed for a 15 year term. Selection is made by unanimous agreement of the three members of a specially convened panel. This panel is comprised of the President of the Council; the Principal Historian of the Realm; and the Chief Scientist. The make-up of this panel reflects the fact that the Chief Prognosticator must not only be skilled at deep political analysis, but also be well-versed in both history and the STEM fields. Fluency in both English and Danish is also required.

Of course, potential candidates are first discreetly vetted by staff of the OCP.

Former Chief Prognosticator Brickbury in this 1992 photo in front of the former Corner Garage Building, where the Office of the Chief Prognosticator was located for many years.
Current Chief Prognosticator David Bricks (seen at Bricklyn Central Station) was appointed to the position in 2014. His term runs through 2029.

Weighing the Words of the Chief Prognosticator

The most influential of past Chief Prognosticators was Ray Brickbury, who was involved in the key 1992 decision limiting computer network connections to the Outland world,🌀 and establishing The Exchange🌀 as the only place where citizens could access Outland networks and databases (excepting access provided to certain government offices, including, not surprisingly, the Office of Outland Affairs).

The current Chief Prognosticator is David Bricks. Readers might recall his involvement with the very recent decision of the Federal Council placing a ban on Facebrick. Bricks also appears weekly on the Bricklyn Broadcasting Network’s News Hour.✥

Understanding the Federal Council

  • by Eric Tiler Corman, Bricklyn Eagle Political News correspondent
  • July 30, 2021

Summary of Article ➤ The Federal Council of the Realm of Bricklyn (FCRB) is the national governing body. Gain an appreciation of the FCRB’s responsibilities under the Bricklyn Constitution, as well as the contrasting role of the King.

Warning to readers. As a reporter, I shouldn’t be telling you this, but unless you’re a political or comparative government junkie, or a reporter like me, you may find some of the following a bit dry to read. In that case, just focus on the material I’ve highlighted in bold!

The Federal Council of the Realm of Bricklyn (FCRB) came into existence on the day of the Realm‘s founding: May 14, 1961, following an advisory referendum put to all citizens of the three cities of Bricklyn, South Bricklyn, and Bricklyn Junction to: (1) disassociate from the Danish Realm; (2) associate to create the Tripartite Realm of Bricklyn; and (3) adopt the draft Constitution for Bricklyn.

The citizenry of the three cities by a 3-1 margin voted in support of the three questions. Voters also elected their representatives to the newly formed FCRB.

Given the relatively small population of the three cities making up the Realm of Bricklyn — at the time of founding in 1961, just 21,755 citizens (36,054 today) — Bricklyn’s founders did not see the need for a large legislative body. Instead, federal level decisions are made by the seven member FCRB, whose members are elected to three year terms.📍

📍There has been a regular tug and pull between federal and local responsibilities which are beyond the scope of what we’re covering today. Suffice it to say, all “foreign affairs,” including relations with both Inland🌀 and Outland🌀 communities are within the purview of the FCRB.

Six of the seven Council seats are allocated by a population-based formula. Since the founding of the Realm the allocation has not varied, with Bricklyn having three seats on the Council; South Bricklyn having two; and Bricklyn Junction one seat. We should note that even the smallest of the three cities is guaranteed at least one seat on the Council.

The seventh seat, however, is the most important one, as that Councilor is elected by a vote of the entire Realm — that is, of the residents of all three cities. It is comparable to what can be called an “at-large” seat. But there is one critical distinction. The at-large Councilor is also designated the President of the Council. Since 2012 at-large Councilor Hilma Plater-Zybrick has served as President.

The Role of the Council President

The President of the FCRB, like all other Councilors, has only one vote on the Council. However, she also has several other key responsibilities, one of which is serving on certain Special Committees set out in the Constitution as having the power to make key appointments. For example, the appointment of the Realm’s Chief Prognosticator🌀 is made by a three-member Special Committee consisting of the Federal Council President, as well as the Realm’s Principal Historian and the Realm’s Chief Scientist.

Photo from the 2012 coronation of YMK Brickburger, which occurred shortly after both his election as Mayor of the City of Bricklyn, and the election of Hilma Plater-Zybrick as Federal Council President (back left with orange hair). Also visible in photo: Chamber of Council President Thomas Brickorti; Chief Magistrate Ruth Plater Kinsburg; and a member of the Realm of Bricklyn Guard.

The Constitution also gives the Federal Council President the power to appoint the Chief Counsels for Inland and Outland Affairs, as well as the position of Chief Magistrate and several other key federal positions.

However, the Constitution does provide that these and other appointments are subject to consent of a majority of the Council (in other words, four Councilors, including the President as Councilor, must vote to consent.

Each member of the Council is also assigned to head one of the Realm’s departments. Assignments (or reassignments) are made by the Federal Chancellor in consultation with Council members:

  • ➤The Department of Outland Affairs (headed by the President)
  • ➤The Department of Inland Affairs (headed by a Council member)
  • ➤The Department of the Environment (headed by a Council member)
  • ➤The Department of Transportation (headed by a Council member)
  • ➤The Department of Commerce (headed by a Council member)
  • ➤The Department of Environmental Protection (headed by a Council member)
  • ➤The Department of Justice (headed by a Council member)
    • ➤ note: The Department of Mediation is headed by the Federal Chancellor in his/her capacity as Chief Mediator.

Is Malter Thurnbrick the Real Decision Maker?

Federal Chancellor Malter Thurnbrick in the Federal Council chambers (which also serves as the Royal Hall when needed for the King’s ceremonial duties).

You probably haven’t heard much of Malter Thurnbrick. After all he’s only a “humble civil servant” (as he calls himself) who directs the Federal Council’s staff of seven.

Yet his position as Federal Chancellor is often extremely influential in developing federal policy positions for the Realm, especially in its dealings with Burlington as well as other Outland and Inland cities.

The Federal Chancellor is a position set out in Bricklyn’s Constitution:

Article I, Sec. 5. “The Federal Chancellor shall be appointed by the President of the Council for a three-year term, subject to the consent of a majority of the full Council. The Federal Chancellor shall: (a) provide staff support to the Federal Council; (b) have the right to table motions of the Federal Council for up to 30 days; (c) be responsible, after consulting with Councilors, for assigning or reassigning Councilors as Department Directors; (d) serve as the Chief Mediator of the Realm; and (e) have such other duties and responsibilities as the Council sees fit as specified by majority vote of the Council.”

Some savvy, well-traveled readers may already have noted several similarities between Bricklyn’s Federal Council and the Federal Council of Switzerland. One such parallel is in the role of the Federal Chancellor. As Federal Chancellor Malter Thurnbrick told us: “Yes, for sure there are lessons Bricklyn’s founders took in drafting our Constitution. They drew not just on their Danish heritage, but also looked at Outland countries such as Switzerland, and, of course, took heed of their new homeland within the State of Vermont.”📍

📍Vermont’s influence can more deeply be seen at the local level, and in particular, in the practice of town meeting. More on that in a future post.

Walter Thurnherr, Federal Chancellor of Switzerland. Photo from Chancellery web site. Of course, his lack of a beard clearly distinguishes him from Bricklyn’s Malter Thurnbrick.

As Malter Thurnbrick continues: “The Bricklyn Federal Council certainly draws on aspects of Switzerland’s Federal Council, as does my position as Federal Chancellor. My ‘counterpart’ in Switzerland, the curiously named Walter Thurnherr, nicely described his role as Federal Chancellor with these words: ‘I don’t see myself as the eighth federal councillor, but rather as the most senior civil servant. My power is limited, but I do have a certain influence. My role is to mediate, offer guidance and coordinate, and I can make proposals.’ … I couldn’t have said it better myself!”📍

📍See “The Federal Chancellery” on the Swiss Federal Chancellery FCh website.

… and What Role Does Bricklyn’s King Play?

Yes, Bricklyn does have a King. Today, that is YMK Spiro Brickburger. However, his role is primarily ceremonial, and to serve as a “goodwill ambassador” to other Inland and Outland communities. Let’s quickly take a look at how Bricklyn’s Constitution defines the role.

Article II, Sec. 1: The King or Queen of the Realm of Bricklyn shall be the then elected Mayor of the City of Bricklyn, that City being the capital city of the Realm, unless such Mayor declines to accept the appointment as Queen or King, in which event the Queen or King shall be appointed by majority vote of the Federal Council for a term of three years. 📍

YMK Brickburger after being crowned KIng of the Realm of Bricklyn

📍By traditional Bricklyn practices of modesty, most past Mayors of the City of Bricklyn have declined being simultaneously appointed King. However, YMK Brickburger chose to accept the Kingly role, saying it would “strengthen the impregnable bonds of comity throughout the Realm.” Political analysts have still been trying to understand the meaning of Brickburger’s remark.

Photo of YMK Brickburger after being crowned; holding the sacred foundation tile of Bricklyn.

Article II, Sec. 2: The King or Queen’s principal responsibility is to promote the values of unity, conciliation, honesty, and kindness in the Realm of Bricklyn, and to represent these values in dealings with other Inland and Outland communities.

If Necessary, as a Last Resort

The King, as well as all elected officials in the Realm, whether serving at the federal or local level, are subject to removal from office. As the Constitution provides:

Article II, Sec. 3: “All elected officials, whether at the federal or local level, as well as the King, can be removed from office before the end of their term if a majority of voters of their jurisdiction so vote at a special election. Such special election shall be take place within 45 days of the receipt and verification by the Chief Clerk of the appropriate jurisdiction of a petition signed by at least 20 percent of the registered voters of said jurisdiction.”

We’ll soon be turning our attention to some heated developments related to the current King, WMK Brickburger, including a recently initiated petition effort to simultaneously oust him as King of the Realm and as Mayor of the City of Bricklyn.

Key Council Rulings

The Bricklyn Eagle has already provided you with information on two key FCRB rulings: the recent ruling finding Facebrick guilty of antitrust and privacy law violations; and the Council’s landmark 1992 ruling limiting network access within the Realm. Given the central role that the FCRB plays in Bricklyn, you’re sure to be hearing more about their decisions in future posts.✥