Podcast to host Flandrensis’s Grand Duke on Awards Topic

Micro Improvement, a widely known podcast, hosted by Connor Modena and Stephen Luke, is set to host its next podcast this Friday, with Grand Duke Nicholas of Flandrensis.

Season 2, Episode 1 will discuss micronational awards and medals. The episode aims to provide education on creating awards, ideas on when to issue them, and how to avoid them losing value.

The episode was suggested by Archduke Arthur of Duckionary, citing his views for a discussion needing to take place.

Most members in Micronationalism will tell you the community is filled with awards, however receiving them from some nations is not that challenging.

Several micronations have been critiqued over the years, with some stating that their awards are issued too frequently, for reasons many feel are not award worthy.

The episode and hosts do not plan on criticizing specific nations, but do plan on addressing that area, along with ways to develop well respected awards.

The show will air on Anchor, Spotify, and Apple podcasts, August 5th at 7pm central.

How Nicholas II is tied in with Dracul today

You may have noticed that every year, Dracul hosts the Nicholas II Memorial Service on July 17th. This may seem odd for a democracy to host, given that it has no current ties to any monarchist powers, other than Vlad Tepes, who is the “Uncle Sam” of Dracul.

Before Dracul’s launch on September 25, 2017, the two initial founders, Stephen Luke and Dmitri Howie decided to link their heritage into Dracul, to allow them to connect better with their newly created nation at the time.

While Stephen Luke’s connection was Romanian, based on his birth place and ancestry, Howie’s connections came mostly from Russia, through his father. Although Howie had no connection to the Romanov Dynasty, Howie felt it was more appropriate to connect Dracul to Imperial Russia, instead of today’s corrupt and former Soviet government.

While it’s clear that Nicholas II was not the strongest leader of Russia, his respect and love for his people is still something that is appreciated and respected to this day by many.

With both Luke and Howie experiencing communism in Russia and Romania, both felt Nicholas II was an icon to respect, given the fact that his life ended at the hands of communism. This is a major reason as to why Dracul does not establish relations with socialist or communist micronations; because it conflicts with Dracul founder beliefs.

In 2018, Nicholas II was made the Patron Saint of Dracul, which is why he now appears on Dracul’s banknotes, has his own holiday, and is respected within the community, along with “God Save the Tsar” hymn performed during certain Dracul holidays.

This year, the Nicholas II Memorial Service was cancelled due to a low in person attendance, along with ongoing health issues of President Luke, who was the host of the event. The holiday is expected to proceed in 2023.

Dracul’s Foreign Policy reminder for foreign officials and governments

The Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Executive Office of the President, would like to remind all foreign officials and governments that Dracul has a strict policy on contacting high leadership, such as the President and Vice President.

Prior to the end of last year, Dracul made a policy stating that in order to contact the President/Vice President, that contact must first be made with the President’s personal secretary, his cabinet, or the Secretary of State.

The President had a high volume of email and messenger chats earlier this week and asked that all be reminded of this policy, as not only is he recovering from a recent medical issue, but the fact that his work load is higher than usual.

This policy helps organize contact with other foreign officials. When the President is overwhelmed by unsolicited emails and requests for recognition, these messages may become lost or forgotten about. While some may feel their need for contact is urgent, it may in actuality not need the attention of the President or Vice President.

To make proper contact or request a meeting with the President/Vice President, typically for urgent matters, contact information is provided below:

We certainly appreciate your understanding in this matter and thank you in advance for your respect to our policy.

Bran House Operations Director

Bruce Cooper – bcooper@draculgov.com

President’s Secretary

Katelynn Arnold – karnold@draculgov.com

Chief of Staff

Scott Jeanes – sjeanes@draculgov.com

Secretary of State

Valeriano Anibarro – vanibarro@draculgov.com

President Luke rushed to hospital; suspected heart attack

HOUSTON – President Luke was rushed to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital yesterday evening, with complaints of chest pain, arm tingling, shortness of breath, and an elevated heart rate of 115.

A 911 call was made by the President from a nearby mall, which resulted in medics running an EKG scan, which showed unusual activity with the President’s heart.

Upon arrival, the President was triaged, however due to an overwhelming medical system, remained in the waiting room for up to three hours before an x-Ray and blood test were taken.

The President ended up walking out after almost a seven hour wait, without being given a room or additional attention for a suspected heart attack.

“The medics said I had a suspected heart attack, yet the hospital treated me like I had a paper cut and put me at the bottom of the list.” said President Luke. “No updates were given, no fluids; it was a terrible experience.” he added.

The President made the decision to leave, after his symptoms began disappearing. He did state however that should his symptoms return, that he would return, but to an urgent care instead.

This is the first time the President has experienced heart related issues, or symptoms of this nature. It is unknown if his family history has these issues.

Currently the President is resting at home, taking a few days off from his duties to fully recover.

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.

Dracul gifts last territory, Las Verdes Colinas to Raphania

DARVIN – The third Parliament of Dracul voted in a 2-0-1 decision on Sunday evening, to gift the Las Verdes Colinas territory to the Grand Emirate of Raphania.

Las Verdes, before it was made into a Draculian territory in 2021, was an unclaimed section of land in the Arizona macro city of Gilbert, originally controlled by Grand Emir Charles Ross.

Throughout its time under Dracul’s control, the land remained mostly abandoned, mostly due to a lack of nearby Dracul citizens.

Ross requested the land in May of 2022, due to his nearby physical presence, and due to the fact that the territory was never functional under Dracul.

“We felt there was no reason to hang onto land we did not utilize.” said President Luke. “Raphania is trying to further relations with us and desires more land. We’re doing our part as a good friend by assisting with this.” he added.

Breco Territory was the first territory to leave Dracul’s control, after Grand Marshal Scott Jeanes made the decision to declare independence, back in April of 2022.

There has been no public mention of Dracul desiring any new land claims as this time.

Dracul-Austenasia set to sign treaty of mutual recognition

BRAN DISTRICT – President Stephen Luke of Dracul, along with Prime Minister William Wilson of Austenasia, are set to meet on July 2nd in Bran District, Dracul, for a formal, in person signing of a treaty of mutual recognition.

The news was made on the morning of June 23rd, as an event was added to the Dracul Discord server.

This treaty comes after Dracul made foreign policy changes limiting micronations from applying for mutual recognition.

“I spoke with Emperor Jonathan several months ago about mutual recognition, before our new policy went into effect, so we will be honoring our initial discussion.” said President Luke.

This treaty will create new relations and add to the additional ones of other well known micronations, such as Westarctica, Flandrensis, West Who, Aigues-Mortes, and others.

It’s unknown at this time if other treaties will follow, such as trade or defense treaties.

A state visit and tour of Dracul will take place as well, before the treaty signing begins.

Dracul-Breco launch new continental organization

The Commonwealth of Dracul and Irish Federation of Breco launched a new organization last week, named the North American Charter Organization or NACO for short.

Stephen Luke and Scott Jeanes formed NACO for the purposes of creating an organization of micronations that share technology, intelligence, and cyber security information. Most importantly, the members of NACO will aid one another in the event that one is under a cyber-attack, such as hacking, and attempt to prevent a data leak of personal and/or confidential information.

“I think it’s crucial in a day and age such as this, that we have a structured, serious organization that’s willing to bring in other micronations who want to take cyber security and technology sharing seriously.” said President Stephen Luke of Dracul. “If we share technology with others, it will help improve other micronations as well.” he added.

While NACO has a military style to it, especially along the lines of defense against cyber-attacks, it is not the same thing as the macro-NATO organization. Some critics have been quick to judge NACO, calling it a “NATO copy-cat”, however those claims have been ignored by the founders of the organization, with the founders advising that it isn’t a war organization.

“We will be very selective on who is admitted into NACO, ensuring that all applicants meet all of our requirements” said Scott Jeanes, leader of Breco. “If we feel that professionalism and dedication cannot be achieved by a NACO member, they will be removed by either the founders or by a majority vote.” he added.

Last week the Grand Emirate of Raphania was admitted into the organization as the first official new member. Other members are currently pending approval as the organization begins building its first website, release date TBA.

Dracul 1 partners with Austenasia TV for technology sharing

Dracul 1 News has agreed to partner with Austenasia TV to provide software and technology improvements for their newscast services.

The assistance was offered initially by President Stephen Luke to Charles Ross, Director General of ATP. President Luke stated a fresh new look, along with software and new royalty free music would be discussed between the two communication companies.

ATP’s current opening screen
Dracul 1’s current opening screen

“Austenasia has professionalism and they should be given the ability to reflect that on their news service as well.” said President Luke.

In addition to a fresh new look, additional information is in the plans, such as regional weather information for several of Austenasia’s territories, allowing more of the Empire to be shared within the community.

ATP’s news format
Dracul 1’s news format

Some additional features of ATP News will also be vocal narration, in addition to headlines in the lower thirds. Both will be added for those with either hearing or visual struggles. Closed caption will also be provided.

The changes may take a month or two to take effect, as all additions must be agreed upon by both parties, in addition to creating the new visuals. Dracul 1 is providing the assistance free of charge, as a sign of good faith.

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.