Category Archives: People in the News

Preacher Johnny Plater Kahn

Are the Gods Angry?

A Crisis from Above, Part 1

  • by Eric Tiler Corman, Bricklyn Eagle Politics correspondent & Duane Sandville, Outland Affairs correspondent.
  • August 19, 2021

Summary of Article ➤ A crisis atmosphere pervades Bricklyn, as thundering booms from the heavens shatter the peace & quiet of the Realm.

Bricklynites have been shaken by daily thunderous booms emanating from the skies. But when the look up, they seeing nothing out of the ordinary. The roaring booms have set babies crying, dogs barking, hearts pounding, conversations ceasing, and school classes halting. Tension levels have mounted, as reactions range from bewilderment to fear.

First thoughts of many were that some unknown meteorological disturbance was to blame. But denials by Bricklyn meteorologists and the frequency and continuation of the booms has now led voices to speak of divine anger.

Preacher Kahn and crowd in downtown Bricklyn yesterday, shaking longsticks toward the heavens.
Preacher Kahn with his most devoted follower, Evanora, behind him.

Preacher Johnny Plater Kahn has taken to the streets calling on Bricklynites to repent.

“Beware the wrath of God is upon us,” he recently pronounced during a KBBS News interview, adding that “Bricklynites will be paying for their sins of sloth and donut over-consumption.”

Crowds have gathered around Kahn, shaking black longsticks pointed to the sky.

The Hidden Truth

F-35 fighter jet. Photo from Shutterstock.

Unknown to the vast majority of Bricklynites, the Bricklyn Office of Outland Affairs, since this past March, has been aware of the true cause of the sonic booms: the introduction of shockingly loud F-35 fighter jets by the Vermont Air National Guard. These extremely high decibel jets are now rocketing almost daily over Burlington — and their sounds have reverberated in Bricklyn’s own air space.

July 7, 2021 issue of the Seven Days Vermont weekly paper focuses on the noise impacts of the new F-35 fighter jets based at the Burlington International Airport. See “Sound Effects: In the F-35’s Flight Path, Vermonters’ Lives Have Changed” by Colin Flanders. “The aircraft now fill the skies with thunderous noise twice a day, four days a week … Those who hear the jets are increasingly voicing their concerns.”

Members of the Samfundet🌀 have been informed of the situation. But because of limitations on the sharing of knowledge about Bricklyn’s twinned relationship with Burlington, 98% of Bricklynites are not aware of what is actually causing the booms.📍

📍We’ve previously reported on the Kyndige, the Samfundet, and the simulation hypothesis. See those posts for a fuller explanation of Bricklyn’s relationship to Burlington and why so many Bricklynites have been “kept in the dark.”

The surging number of Bricklynites attributing the booms to divine causation, evidenced by the growing popularity of Reverend J.P. Kahn and others, has triggered a crisis among Bricklyn leadership and the Samfundet on what to do.

Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts by Bricklyn consular officials to end the booms have reached an impasse, threatening the relationship between Bricklyn and Burlington.✥

Bricklyn Eagle Masthead

The Bricklyn Eagle will continue to report on this evolving crisis.

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.✥

Facebrick Banned in Realm of Bricklyn

by Eric Tiler Corman, Bricklyn Eagle Political News correspondent
July 9, 2021

Summary of article ➤ In an unexpected ruling, the Federal Council of the Realm of Bricklyn has banned Facebrick from the Realm due to monopolistic practices & abuse of privacy. Reactions to the ruling and next steps.

Federal Council President Hilma Plater-Zybrick at her home.

In an unexpected action, the Federal Council of the Realm of Bricklyn (FCRB)🌀 has just issued a ruling (by a 5-2 vote) mandating the termination of Facebrick’s🌀 services within the Tripartite Realm of Bricklyn.

The Council’s decision only applies to Facebrick, not to Facebook (the parent company). Facebrick has been operating a Bricklyn-only network since 2016, as Bricklyn has long restricted access to Outland networks. But unanswered questions remain over whether the Council’s ruling also applies to Bricklyn citizens trying to connect to the global Facebook social network at The Exchange.📍

📍For some background about The Exchange, see “When Bricklyn Pulled the Plug.”

Council Finds Monopoly and Privacy Violations

According to Council President Hilma Plater-Zybrick, “the ruling centers not just on violations of Bricklyn anti-trust laws, but also on concerns over infractions of Bricklyn’s privacy regulations.”

One of the examples of anti-competitive behavior cited by the Council was Facebrick’s 2020 acquisition of the fledgling social media app WeBricks, “snuffing out a potential competitor,” the Council’s ruling said.

Editor’s Note: While the Council’s ruling dealt with the monopolistic practices of Facebrick, have we given any thought to just what Bricklyn’s youth are learning when they play this board game and need to accumulate the most money & wealth in order to win? The Junior Version of this popular board game is designed for 5 year olds and up!

As to privacy, the Council found Facebrick repeatedly failed to tell customers of its sharing of personal data with third parties, and also engaged in other “systematic privacy breaches.”

The Council cited Facebrick’s failure to address these issues, despite repeated warnings from Bricklyn regulators.

Facebrick supporters claim that the company is being unduly tarred with accusations being made in some Outland countries against Facebook, and that Facebrick is a good corporate citizen, providing valued social media services to Bricklynites.

Replying to these critics, Council President Plater-Zybrick said that: “Regardless of Facebook’s practices in the Outland🌀 world, the Council’s ruling was solely based on Facebrick’s practices within the Realm of Bricklyn.”

Plater-Zybrick has been considered a long-time “skeptic” of Facebrick, but that she could convince four other Council members to join her in ruling against Facebrick remains a surprise. When asked, Plater-Zybrick would only say, “What became clear to most of us was the egregious nature of Facebrick’s violations. What’s more, we received a statement of support for the actions we were considering from the Chief Prognosticator🌀, always an important consideration in major rulings by the Council.”📍

📍 By long standing Bricklyn tradition, the Chief Prognosticator of the Realm can be called in for an in camera meeting with the Federal Council when the Council is considering taking actions that may have “high significance for the future of The Realm of Bricklyn.” The decision to call for the Chief Prognosticator can be made by either the Council President, or by vote of a majority of Council members. The current Chief Prognosticator is David Bricks.

Facebrick Supporters Attack Council Decision

Bill B. Butler, Federal Council Member
Federal Council Member Bill B. Butler, aka “3B”. Besides serving on the Council, Butler is an engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad.

Bill B. Butler, who represents South Bricklyn, was one of the two dissenters on the Federal Council. When asked about the ruling, Butler said: “Facebrick is a great resource for Bricklyn. It gives people what they want, which is why virtually everyone who wants to be socially networked uses it. What’s more, most folks don’t give a hoot about their so-called privacy, as long as they can easily network with their family and friends.”

As Butler added, “if Facebrick did happen to violate our laws, what that means is we need to re-examine and change our laws so that Facebrick can quickly resume operations here in Bricklyn. I’m sure that’s what most Bricklynites would want.”

Representatives of Facebrick could not be reached for comment. An appeal of the decision to the Chief Magistrate’s Court, along with a request for a Stay of the mandate, are possible. However, given the fact that the ruling received the endorsement of Chief Prognosticator Bricks, most legal analysts view it as unlikely that the Court would hear an appeal (the Court has discretion on whether to accept appeals of Federal Council decisions).

Public to be Polled

There has been little opinion polling on the Facebrick question, but Bricklyn Eagle Editor Whitman, along with TV 3 Managing Editor Frank Smallbrick, have just announced they will be teaming up on a poll in the coming weeks to gauge public reaction to the ruling.✥

➤ Note from Bricklyn Eagle Editor Walt Brickman: Unfortunately, as Editor, I must offer an apology. As you may know, The Bricklyn Eagle just recently launched a Facebook page for Outlanders. In fact, some of you have already “liked” it. We are seeking clarification from officials at the FCRB if this page must be taken down in light of the ruling, or whether it can remain available to our Outland readers. All I can say right now is, stay tuned! But rest assured, we at The Bricklyn Eagle will continue to provide you with unbiased news reporting, despite our having used Facebrick and Facebook for our business.

➤ Note from Reporter Corman: As mentioned in our article, Outland policies and laws were apparently not taken into consideration by the Bricklyn Federal Council in its Facebrick ruling. Having said that, readers may find it of interest that U.S. President Joe Biden, in remarks given today (coincidentally the same day as the Council’s ruling), said that: “We are now 40 years into the experiment of letting giant corporations accumulate more and more power … and what have we gotten from it? Less growth, weakened investment, fewer small businesses. … I believe the experiment failed.” As Biden observed, “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism, it’s exploitation.” See “Biden launches assault on monopolies,” POLITICO (July 9, 2021).