Another microcon in the books; concludes with new members

LAS VEGAS – Another well planned MicroCon proved successful for its organizers, as well as its attendees this year, as MicroCon concluded today, marking another one in the books for the bi-yearly event.

Approximately 20 micronations were in attendance, from all parts of the globe, including Europe, not just the United States region. Several age groups were also there, including teens, young adults, and senior citizens.

For many of the new attendees, this was the first time meeting other micronationalists, as well as receiving in person media attention. According to the attendees, the event went as planned, with many satisfied with the results.

The event started on the evening of the 5th of August, with a few awards being issued, but mostly as a formal dinner for the diplomats and heads of state. A grand opening for new micronationalists, and a reunion for others who hadn’t seen one another in years.

The media were said to have been respectful towards the heads of state, as well as towards micronationalism in general. Some media outlets have received backlash from the community over the years, due to their biased and odd ways of painting micronationalism in the public view.

An early day awaited the participants, as the convention began as early as 8AM for several.

Following the reception dinner, August 6th was the main event, with several presentations given by various micronations on various topics.

This event was an all day event, with more media and guests present, learning more about micronationalism and one another. Discussions ranged from a micronational hall of excellence to climate change.

Slowjamastan made its grand appearance, making a mark in not only its own history books, but the community’s as well. Kevin Baugh meeting with Randy Williams was an event, which both had been planning for quite some time.

Sunday afternoon concluded MicroCon 2022, with a bowling tournament between the heads of state and diplomats. A fun way for those to come together on the last day and share their goodbyes.

The next convention is planned for 2023, due to the organizers wanting to revert back to odd numbered years. The location has been set for Chicago.

Opinion: A different way of explaining micronationalism to others

I think we’ve all had an issue at one point or another, explaining micronationalism to those who don’t belong to the community, let alone who’ve never heard of it before. In many instances the concept is compared to roleplay and make-believe.

You can try explaining in many ways, including statements such as, “We have the right to claim independence”, or “America did it from Great Britain, so we can too.” and so on and so forth, however those statements typically leave you with eye brow raising individuals, or self-declared scholars, giving references to international laws, the United Nations, recognition requirements, etc.

I have a close friend who just couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of micronationalism. I would send our news, images, events, and other things to him, mainly due to the fact that he was a citizen and joined out of respect to our friendship. The issue with that was the fact that he joined something he didn’t understand, something I feel many micronational citizens do.

What started as a simple conversation ended in debate and frustration towards one another. I’d explain how micronationalism was more of a political statement than an ideology, but he’d find ways to pick apart my rebuttals. After explaining micronations having a purpose and reason for existing, he began to come around, using references to better understand the whole picture of this unique community.

“Ah, so in concept, it is kinda like the Masonic lodge, which had its own membership protocols and rites and rituals and oaths… and a particular ideology among its members who each had their own role to play in the transformation of the world, according to the communal will of its members?” my friend asked. I had honestly never thought of this comparison before, but after thinking it over, it was accurate to me.

“Just taking the playbook from macro-nations” I replied. “So in essence, the Masonic lodge was a first micronation. Of course they couldn’t call themselves any kind of nation, for fear of the kings.” my friend stated. His understanding began to take shape more and more as the conversation went on.

I was pretty glad to finally hear an explanation that could finally not be argued, as far as I was concerned. Micronationalism is such a unique part of life, that it can be difficult to explain it to those who’ve never fully experienced it. Its concept isn’t explained on the news, in schools, or any other area for that matter. In order to understand, you have to WANT to understand it.

“The opinions I at first expressed about micronations being perceived by the public as roleplaying games could actually be quite useful from a secretive revolutionary standpoint, I suppose.” my friend stated. “Forming alliances with like-minded micronations could be equivalent to the different lodges associated with the Masonic grand lodge, I’d suppose. Of course this association with historical Freemasonry would only apply if there were a shared revolutionary goal as was historically true of the Freemasons. The analogy does help me to comprehend this otherwise quite nebulous subject.” he ended.

Not everyone may agree with this approach, or this view on explaining micronationalism, but in my case it certainly helped ease the understanding and void out the previous mockery and laughing I had received. I’m sure there are even better ways of explaining it, however given the fact that this community has a hard time being received in a positive or serious light, there can never be too many ways of explaining who we are and what we are doing.

Grand Duke Travis to discuss micro currency and crypto

Many know Grand Duke Travis McHenry from Westarctica, but others know him from his personal small business, Bloodstone Studios.

Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, McHenry has left an imprint on the micronational community, as well as the world with his work on environmentalism.

On Friday, May 13, the Grand Duke of Westarctica will guest on the Micro Improvement podcast to discuss micronational currency, as well as cryptocurrency.

After speaking with McHenry, I was able to collect much needed information on how to go about designing currency, the types of ways of producing it and alternatives, such as coins and stamps.

Cryptocurrency is a large industry these days, with many being able to create a new coin within minutes, according to McHenry. There are some legal matters that need to be understood before doing so, especially when it comes to the selling of crypto, according to Travis.

Whether you’re interested in learning about better currency designs or how to start your own crypto, this podcast episode will be for you.

The episode is expected to run approximately one hour and will be available at 7pm central on Anchor FM, Spotify, and Apple Podcast. Stop by then to find out what you might not already know about both topics.

Dracul Founding Mother gives birth to first daughter

MOLDAVIA, SOUTH DRACUL – On the evening of Easter 2022, Founding Mother Kassie Hood gave birth to her first daughter, Delilah at 7:08pm local time, weighting 8 pounds, 12 ounces. This after a few days of a birth delay, but certainly in time for a special day.

Ironically, Delilah was born in Webster, Texas, which is approximately 5 minutes from the border of South Dracul.

It was a moment of joy, with some somber parts, as Aaron Hood the father, unfortunately passed last year due to a motorcycle collision. Kassie was surrounded by family and friends, which certainly gave her the strength needed at this crucial time in her life.

Founding Mother Kassie Hood with Delilah

A birth certificate was issued by the Dracul Department of Health and Human Services, signed by Naturalization Director Charles Ross, which will be provided physically to Kassie in the next several days.

Several Draculians and foreign officials showed their support by congratulating Kassie on the Dracul Discord server, where she normally maintains communication with others, since her resignation as South Dracul Governor.

Delilah is the fifth born Draculian, with all other citizens being naturalized, including the founders. As with all babies born to current Draculians, Delilah is automatically a citizen, who will be able to decide at a much older age whether they wish to keep their Draculian citizenship or not.

Popular “MicroWiki” website down, admins unsure of issue presently

Edit: As of 24 March, 5:14am central, MicroWiki is operational/online.

Users and visitors of the most commonly used “MicroWiki” site were met with an error and random list of code upon attempting to access the site as of earlier today, according to those attempting to access the site since this afternoon.

“Sorry! This site is experiencing technical difficulties.”, along with “(Cannot access the database)” were a few of the error messages listed.

After speaking with two admins from the MicroWiki, both acknowledged the site was down, but did not provide reason as both stated, “It seems that way”. Since yesterday evening, the site appeared to be running smoothly, which raises the question to many if this was a form of attack.

President Luke gives statement on Ukraine-Russia conflict

Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022

Fellow micronationalists, governments of the world, and the People of Ukraine and of Russia,

I wanted to wait a few days before releasing a statement on this, to get the full picture and the latest developments.

This week has created a repeat in history, not seen since 1939, along the lines of an invasion in Europe. It was once said, “never again”, but here we are in 2022, facing off against another faction as Poland did against Nazi Germany. Over the past four days, we’ve witnessed civilians fleeing their homes, filled with anger, resentment, chaos, and worry. A tragic loss of life has taken place, including children.

Vladimir Putin of Russia has taken the opportunity to attack his westerly neighbor, clinging to false statements, history, and the accusation that Ukraine are neo-Nazis, as his reason for this vicious and brutal attack. The world, including Ukrainians, know that Ukraine is not a fascist nation. Ukraine is of a religious people, aiming to provide for their families, community, and national success.

The stories of young and old civilians, taking to the streets to defend their homes, along with police, military and the nation’s own President, knowing their lives could be lost at any minute, are of the heroes you only see in history books. It was reported that a civilian blew himself up, just to destroy a bridge, which he knew would only slow down the Russians. Many Russian troops have expressed in secrecy, their hatred of being in Ukraine in conflict, stating, “We don’t know where we are, and we don’t know who to shoot; they all look like us.”

While I am pleased that NATO has provided arms and ammunition to Ukraine to combat this invasion, I am not pleased with the United States’ response with minor sanctions which rarely ever work. Stronger actions should have been taken, as we knew this attack was inevitable.

Currently, there are two Draculians in Russia and one in Ukraine. I ask that the both of them, especially our Ukrainian citizen, to remain steadfast throughout this conflict. The nation of Ukraine belongs to you, and you should never hand it over. I urge President Putin to offer a ceasefire, to avoid the continuous loss of life on both sides of the isle.

We come upon the third night of Kiev in darkness, unsure of what’s to come next. Mark my words; there is a special place in the fires of Hell for vicious leaders who reign terror upon those who do not deserve it. Dracul stands behind Ukraine and all that it stands for. While we are unable to be there with you in person, we are with you in spirit. Slava Ukraini!

President Stephen Luke

Commonwealth of Dracul

Opinion: Will new sanctions negatively affect Russia?

Since Thursday, President Biden, along with several other leaders of NATO and UN nations have announced sanctions against the Russian Federation for their invasion into Ukraine. Many are unsure of what these ‘sanctions’ are and how they would affect Russia as a whole.

The objectives of sanctions are varied but generally fall into one of two categories: sanctions that aim at specific changes in behavior and sanctions that seek to impose costs without being linked to a specific policy outcome.

The US for instance has imposed more than 60 rounds of sanctions on Russian individuals, companies, and government organizations over the last six years, spanning nine issue areas. Most of these sanctions have distinct aims when viewed individually. Sanctions against Russia aimed at Ukraine are intended to deter further Russian aggression and persuade Russia to adhere to the Minsk peace accord. Russian individuals and corporations are also sanctioned by the US for failing to comply with North Korean sanctions, intervening in US elections, and hacking US entities. These sanctions impose financial penalties in order to deter future aggressive behavior and maintain international norms.

Many have pointed out that sanctions are not a cost-free tool. Their overuse from a larger strategy carries risks. First, there is the risk that sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies will make them more dependent on the Kremlin, thus consolidating rather than diminishing support for Putin.

But are sanctions working? The answer is contingent on how we define “working.” Some say that the tough sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine limited Russia’s land grab. Because the counterfactual is likewise probable, this is impossible to prove or deny. Regardless, sanctions aimed at Russia have so far failed to persuade it to follow the Minsk agreements, as Russian troops continue in eastern Ukraine.

Sanctions against Russian individuals and companies for failing to comply with other sanction regimes, such as those imposed on North Korea, have succeeded in limiting access to the global financial system. Secondary sanctions imposed by CAATSA have undoubtedly made doing business with sanctioned Russian businesses more difficult. However, there is no evidence that these have resulted in a shift in Russian government policy.

If Moscow comes to believe that sanctions will be permanent and unavoidable, it will be less motivated to find a way to end the current standoff. When sanctions give leverage, they are most effective. Overuse of sanctions, particularly those that are mandated by Congress (and thus require congressional approval to lift) and are not linked to specific policy goals, generates little leverage and reinforces Russian perceptions that the ultimate goal of US policy is regime change rather than behavioral change.

Because Russia believes that US strategy is only focused on retribution and containment, a diplomatic solution to difficulties between the two countries is less possible.

Micronationalists watch with concern as Russia launches Ukrainian invasion

KYIV – On Thursday, Russian troops launched their much-anticipated onslaught on Ukraine, ignoring international censure and sanctions while threatening other countries that any attempt to intervene would result in “consequences you have never seen.”

Large explosions were heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa before daybreak as international leaders denounced the launch of an invasion that might result in catastrophic casualties, topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government, and jeopardize the continent’s post-Cold War peace.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy imposed martial law, claiming that Russia was attempting to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure. Even as the country’s border guard agency reported an artillery barrage by Russian forces from neighboring Belarus, Ukrainians who had long readied for an assault were told to stay home and not panic.

President Joe Biden announced further sanctions against Russia in response to the attack that the international community had been anticipating for weeks but had been unable to avoid via diplomacy.

A woman and child peer out of the window of a bus as they leave Sievierodonetsk, the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Putin defended the attack in a public address, claiming that it was necessary to protect people in eastern Ukraine, which the US had feared he would make as a pretext for an invasion. He accused the US and its allies of neglecting Russia’s demands for security assurances and to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. He also asserted with skepticism that Russia does not plan to occupy Ukraine, but rather will work to “demilitarize” it and bring criminals to justice.

In a brief statement, Biden criticized the strike as “unprovoked and unjustifiable,” and said that the US and its allies would “hold Russia accountable.” After a summit of the Group of Seven leaders on Thursday, the president indicated he planned to talk to Americans. On Thursday, more penalties on Russia are anticipated to be revealed.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, called the assault a “full-scale invasion” and vowed Ukraine will “defend itself and prevail.” Putin can and must be stopped by the rest of the world. “Now is the moment to act.”

Residents in the capital, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, were instructed to stay at home unless they were involved in crucial activity and to prepare go-bags with essentials and documents in case they needed to escape. Hearing blasts and witnessing scores of people with luggage leaving for their cars to leave the city, an Associated Press photographer in Mariupol reported.

People queue for fuel at a gas station in Sievierodonetsk, the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

The Russian military said it only targeted Ukrainian air bases and other military installations, not civilians. According to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry, the military is utilizing precision weaponry and there is “no threat to civilian population.”

The Russian military had launched missile strikes against Ukrainian military command centres, air bases, and military depots in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro, according to Anton Gerashchenko, an assistant to Ukraine’s interior minister, who posted on Facebook.

After the initial explosions in Kyiv, people could be heard shouting in the streets. Then a sense of normality returned, with cars circulating and people walking in the streets as a pre-dawn commute appeared to start in relative calm.

The consequences of the conflict and resulting sanctions on Russia could reverberate throughout the world, upending geopolitical dynamics in Europe as well as affecting energy supplies in Europe and jolting global financial markets.

Opinion: The importance of maintaining micronationalism privacy

Privacy on the internet is an upward battle when it comes to maintaining private information, such as credit cards, banking info, addresses, and email addresses.

Unfortunately the battle has become more difficult with the growing number of hackers and data sellers throughout the world. Privacy in micronationalism is even more important, as documents and citizen information are the most maintained.

In this article we‘ll cover the top 3 areas of concern, along with ways to properly secure private information.

Citizenship Information

The protection of personal information of applicants and current citizens of micronations should be set as the highest priority within governments.

Full names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and other private information should be kept in secure locations, but most importantly on secure form databases.

Google forms, Zoho forms, and jotforms are 3 of the top secure online forms in my experience.

Micronations should never share a citizen or applicant’s personal information with other micronations, even for “intel” or “investigation” reasons. Doing so may put you at risk for a lawsuit and possible macro criminal charges. Ensure you ask the party first before sending their information to others.

Email Address Revealing

Emailing other micronations is certainly necessary when the need for contact arises. There have been several instances where I’ve witnessed over 300 emails in a mass email list, which included mine as well.

Senders should be mindful of who they’re showing other email addresses to. If you’re going to send a mass email, it’s best to BCC all emails, to hide them from others.

On the subject of emails, if you decide to include emails in a campaign list to mass email, ensure you ask first if they consent. Having a sign up form on your website helps a great deal.

Data Leak Notifications

In the unfortunate event of a data leak, it is your responsibility to inform those affected that they were involved in such leak.

If you intentionally fail to inform parties of their leaked data, you’re setting yourself up for a lawsuit. Many macronations have laws requiring you to inform parties anyway.

Ensure you keep track of not only your databases but the companies that maintain that information for you.

Summary

Running a micronation can be fun and rewarding, but it does have its responsibilities. Meeting these requirements will ensure a smooth operation, along the lines of liability and privacy protection.

Opinion: Micronational income vs. businesses masked as micronations

Micronations making money is a common practice within the micronational community, with a majority understanding that websites must stay online. Other items, such as physical awards and decorations must be purchased, along with highly demanded gift shop items, such as flags, pins, and passport folders.

What is not so common is the selling of citizenship access, entry into militaries, and the public bragging of how much a micronation possesses in money, gold, silver, and other items of value. The question many ask is, “where is the line in the sand that separates a micronation making money from a business pretending to be a micronation?”

Dunland on Twitter recently wrote, “It’s bothersome, in all honesty. I’m sure nobody minds ‘homegrown’ or ‘mom and pop’ money-making by micronations, e.g., selling mementos that pay for a website or whatnot. However, I take issue with businesses or individuals fronting as micronations in order to monetize and cash in.”

I personally feel that if a ‘micronation’ has no intentions of creating a culture, has no set purpose (other than to make money), and no governmental structure, that it is therefore a business and not a micronation.

The whole purpose for most micronationalists creating their nations is to create a culture, set up a government, provide entertainment or tasks for their citizens, create new friendships, and to provide a unique experience for their citizens. If your goal isn’t to provide any of that and just to focus on the money, it makes it difficult to be seen as a micronation.

The Cheskgariyan-Litvanian Commonwealth on Twitter joined in the discussion, stating, “We’ve seen a few and while they’re not a big problem, they seem to misunderstand micronationalism as a monetizable hobby, rather than something to devote oneself more seriously to. I personally think they might give people the wrong impression of what a micronation is all about.”

Other individuals, such as Ethan of the Republic of Sohnland, go as far as feeling like corporations are high jacking micronationalism, as a means of pandering to a demographic they can rip off and sell to.

I created a video in May of 2021, welcoming newcomers into the community. One of the parts in my video talked about this very issue. I certainly hope that the new additions into our community understand why micronations were formed in the first place, and that while it’s important to make money; they should avoid making theirs into a money-making scheme.