The Amerada Series – Part 3: Trials and Impeachments

The Amerada Series is a collection of articles concerning the history of the Republic of Amerada, which was an active Anglophone Simulationist Community micronation in the early twenty-first century. Most of these articles were originally published in Liam Sinclair’s Amerada: the Story of a Nation book in 2002/2003. The articles as published by RIMA were subsequently updated and expanded for what was intended to be a more detailed edition of that book in 2007. Additional updates since the original manuscripts were re-written in 2007 have been made in an effort to complete articles that were left incomplete in 2007 upon cessation of the Amerada: the Story of a Nation fourth-edition effort.

In the autumn of 2001, the Amerada court system was experiencing a major surge of business as the impeachment trials of William Steeves were underway, as well as the criminal trial against Liam Sinclair on charges of supporting terrorism. Compared to most other micronations, Amerada was unusually active throughout its life in terms of judiciary activity, yet it would not be until late 2002, in the dying days of the Washburn regime, that an impartial and structured system for the Amerada Supreme Court was adopted.

The court system in Amerada prior to the development of the Supreme Court in November 2002 was one which would lend credence to the idea of kangaroo courts. When a court case presented itself, there were no judges on the payroll of the court to hear the case. Instead, for each case arriving before the Supreme Court, the President of Amerada, in these cases Earl Washburn, would arbitrarily appoint a judge to hear the charges and ensuing court battle. The court consisted of a hearing over MSN Messenger in which the judge, defendant & counsel, prosecutor, and President participated.

The majority of trials were by judge, and as the judge was appointed arbitrarily by the President on the day of the trial, charges of biased were common in proceedings of the court. For Liam Sinclair’s trial, Derek McCullough was appointed as presiding judge – this despite the fact that on the colony of Michswick’s website, over which McCullough was governor and webmaster, there was a news story and poll which ran to the effect of “Sinclair is guilty” even before the trial began. Sinclair did not actually attend the trial, claiming it was politically biased, and his solicitor, Nicholas Bridgewater, argued on that issue to no avail and tried to have the judge dismiss the jury chosen by Washburn for the trial. The jury, consisting of two people (as the limit for MSN Messenger conversations was five persons), were members of the Washburn cabinet and found Sinclair guilty as charged, fining him an exorbitant amount of AmBucks (currency).

The source of Sinclair’s comment that the ‘Shadow’ attack of 31 October “looked good on Washburn,” was during his participation as judge of the first Steeves’ impeachment trial on 30 October 2001; the first recorded trial in Amerada’s judicial history. It was not the first time Steeves had found himself before the courts in Amerada. In June of that year, Steeves physically assaulted Washburn, who was newly sworn in as president following Weatherhead’s resignation, on the basis that he did not agree with Washburn’s new plans for the direction of the federal government. By September, all was forgiven, and Steeves rejoined the Democratic Liberal Party of Amerada and was elected Prime Minister by October (having defeated opponent Genevieve Wong).

The trial on 30 October was to hear charges relating to Steeves’ verbal assault on Washburn. Under Washburn’s reasoning, if he were insulted, this also meant that the person was insulting the Republic of Amerada, which was an infringement of the legal code. The judge appointed to hear the matter was Sinclair, who ruled that offending the president of Amerada personally was not the same thing as offending the state of Amerada. Steeves was acquitted of the charges, but not before Washburn managed to anger the presiding judge by attempting to declare the verdict illegal. Washburn, unhappy with the acquittal of Steeves and the verdict, now tried to nullify the decision of the very judge he appointed to hear the trial. Angry at the president attempting to politically control his court, and with the ‘Shadow’ attack of 31 October, Sinclair would make that fateful comment which would see him go from judge to convict in little more than seventy-two hours.

Steeves was not the only person facing threats of impeachment by Washburn at this time. Vice-President of Amerada, Weatherhead, was threatened with charges of dereliction of his duties, but these were eventually dropped and he retained his position.

By December 2001, Steeves was back on trial, facing impeachment in his position as prime minister. The new charges stemmed from Steeves having made colourful comments at the Micro-Nations.org web forums. This brought unwelcome attention to Amerada and he would be charged with insulting the state. On 13 December, Steeves was quickly found guilty of the charges and removed as prime minister. McCullough, who had been interim prime minister in September 2001 before removal for dereliction of his duties, returned to the office as the new prime minister of Amerada.

Two-thousand-and-one was the most active year for the Amerada Supreme Court in terms of criminal and state trials. Early in the year, shortly after the founding of Amerada, Weatherhead had been charged with violating the law which required updating of the national website once a week. Kiril Litvinov, along with Steeves, were both charged with conspiracy to harm prime ministerial candidate Washburn in April. By the end of the year, the micronation had further witnessed two impeachment trials and a criminal trial. It would not be the last trial to grace the chambers of the Supreme Court.

In April 2002, the governor of the North Cerritories, Chris Donle, would find himself in front of the Supreme Court. Donle, who was a dual citizen and president of the United Bobessian Republic, was brought to trial for the Bobessian war declaration against Amerada surrounding recent events with respect to Micro-Monde. Washburn had him charged with treason due to his Ameradian citizenship and Sinclair was again appointed as a judge to hear the case. Donle was found guilty, fined 15,000 AmBucks, and sentenced to 180 days of community service. He was also required to issue an apology for the declaration of war against Amerada. As with time healing all wounds, Donle and Washburn would soon become friends once again and the incident was widely forgot.

On the colonial front in 2002, the Tebec Commons, the legislature of that colony, had passed a law decreeing that Tebec laws took precedence over Amerada federal law (as there were no federal statues to enshrine federal law as supreme). While it was a clear implication that federal law succeeded colonial law, as per the modus operandi of a federation, the technicality was used by Tebec to gain more sovereignty due to very poor relations between the two governments. Washburn threatened to go to the Amerada Supreme Court to block the attempt by the Commons, but the case was never brought forth. Instead, after much argument between Washburn and Sinclair, Tebec was granted external territory status, allowing the controversial Commons law to stand.

Reforming the Supreme Court

On 25 November 2002, the Supreme Court received its first permanent justice, replacing the old system of arbitrary judge appointments. Prime Minister Tristan Calvani swore Sinclair into office as the Chief Justice. Sinclair’s first point of business was to bring in reforms to the system to prevent the biased and arbitrary appointments that had plagued the court throughout its history. This eventually produced a very long and detailed Supreme Court Act in 2003.

With a full-time justice now appointed to the Supreme Court, government and legislative members began coming to the court for judicial interpretations of Amerada law. All laws to date were vaguely authored, as legislative writing was not an area of excellence for the Washburn administration, which presented many questions about their limitations and effectualness. Within two months, the Supreme Court had issued over a dozen decisions ranging from court orders to verdicts and judicial reviews. Issues such as the legality of abortion laws within Amerada were dealt with and charges against Washburn for attempting to overthrow Bridgewater’s presidency on 15 January 2003 were heard.

In the latter case, Washburn was found guilty, stripped of his citizenship in Amerada, and banned indefinitely. The incident began when Washburn used his ownership of the national forums to remove Bridgewater’s control powers following a decision by the Supreme Court. That decision allowed a four-to-two vote in favour of a bill in the legislature to constitute a majority vote, thus allowing controversial reform legislation introduced by Bridgewater to pass (the Executive Powers and Reform Act). Having lost his attempt to block the legislation in the legal system, Washburn declared Bridgewater to no longer be the president on the basis that a person who was head-of-state of another micronation could not be the president of Amerada.

Such was the law during Washburn’s administration, and Bridgewater was indeed the King of New Worcestor Kingdom; however, the court ruling on what constituted a majority in the legislature was made retroactive to the beginning of the current sitting of the legislature. This made the controversial Bill 89 on executive powers reform introduced by Bridgewater, and voted on with a four-to-two result prior to the presidential elections in December 2002, valid. The retro-activity effectively meant that under Amerada law, despite Bridgewater being head-of-state of another micronation, he was still able to run for president that December and his win was incontestable in the courts.

The federal legislature, responding to the coup by Washburn, moved to formally repeal the law which blocked foreign heads-of-state from assuming the presidency of Amerada. The law was repealed within the week as a show of defiance to Washburn’s actions. Following private discussions between Washburn and Chief Justice Sinclair, Bridgewater had his control over the national forums restored. On 11 February, just a day before Amerada’s second anniversary, President Bridgewater filed charges against Amerada’s last active founding father for his attempt to overthrow the presidency. Tried in abstention, Washburn was convicted on 11 March 2003 of the crime and would leave Amerada nothing more than a criminal. Several months later, with Amerada coming by hard times in terms of activity, mainly due to Washburn convincing many of the active population to not support the Bridgewater government, Washburn would ironically return to Amerada seeking to regain his citizenship. The legislature would return his citizenship and Washburn returned as a member of the Bridgewater government, in the role of Minister of the Interior.

By August 2003, Sinclair had left Amerada as an active citizen, but not before he had issued several volumes of judicial review decisions on all of Amerada’s federal laws up to his resignation. He would be the first and last Chief Justice to actively run the courts in the area of judicial review, and the Supreme Court would fall silent for the remainder of Amerada’s active life.

The Amerada Series – Part 2: The Experiences of War and Terrorism

The Amerada Series is a collection of articles concerning the history of the Republic of Amerada, which was an active Anglophone Simulationist Community micronation in the early twenty-first century. Most of these articles were originally published in Liam Sinclair’s Amerada: the Story of a Nation book in 2002/2003. The articles as published by RIMA were subsequently updated and expanded for what was intended to be a more detailed edition of that book in 2007. Additional updates since the original manuscripts were re-written in 2007 have been made in an effort to complete articles that were left incomplete in 2007 upon cessation of the Amerada: the Story of a Nation fourth-edition effort.

The development of a national security and defence infrastructure was never a policy that was taken seriously during the development of the Amerada nation. Even during times of upheaval, attack, and invasion such policies were far from the minds of Ameradians. This can largely be attributed to the attitude of the population; they were concerned with far more important political and state issues than with responding to the immaturity of other micronations such as Freenesia and the Union of South Mondesia which decided to indulge themselves in the laughable act of “rec-warring.1

Amerada was not immune from the acts of war and terrorism that often plagued the micronational community in the early part of the twenty-first century. While not lending any major weight to the creation of a national security infrastructure, Amerada was by far not the pacifist micronation its founders wished it to become. Incidents of internal terrorism at the hands of a radical; other micronations attempting to make it the subject of rec-warring caused tumultuous times in the micronation. Eventually the Amerada government was forced to create the office of “Chief of Security” for the micronation, with the holder of that position charged with protecting the national forums from spam and other security threats. Two persons would go on to hold that position, the first being Yuri Andropov.

Andropov was generally seen as a micronational security threat, not for any particular technical abilities, but for his ability to cause trouble wherever he went. The government would regret appointing Andropov to that position, as well as to the position of governor of the colony of Floerta, when he misused his powers to attempt to steal funds from the Second National Bank of Amerada and cede Floerta from the Republic.

Amerada, while not very concerned with military issues, did have some federal military infrastructure, though it largely consisted of one designated base to which an army of “Borg” (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) were stationed. That military force itself underlined the lack of importance Amerada’s federal government placed on the development of a model military force. At the colonial level the story was largely that of no military forces, except in the colonies of Tebec and Califario, and later Oh Scotia.

Colonial Defence – Serious Attempts at Mimicking Military Forces

By and far, the most serious attempt to model a macronational military force was that of Tebec’s governor, Liam Sinclair. An avid military history and studies student, Sinclair would create the largest and most detailed simulation of military structure and force that the Republic would see, known as the Tebec Militia.

That force would be deployed overseas to the United Bobessian Republic to support its defence against threats from the Amerada government (this being when Tebec was an external territory of Amerada in August 2002). It is important to note that a copy of the agreement between the Bobessian and Tebec governments at that time explicitly noted that if hostilities broke out with Amerada, the Tebec Militia units deployed in Bobessian territory would act as peacekeepers and not fight against the Amerada government. While tensions were always high between the Amerada and Tebec governments, Tebec Militia troops would never be deployed against Amerada.

In the Tebec Government’s Defence Plan 2002: A Combat Capable and Effective Tebec Militia document, the case for the development of colonial defence forces was put forward succinctly:

“…the Amerada Government is unwilling in providing defensive services against external threats….Amerada’s defence minister is inactive and … incompetent….Amerada itself has no coherent defence or military plan.”

The creation of these defence forces was further legitimized by the Amerada government performance in the attempted annexation of Amerada by the Free Territories of Freenesia, a micronation led by Philip Locke, the perpetrator of the 4/11 terrorist attacks against the United Republic of Tymaria. In that conflict of August 2002, Amerada’s government arbitrarily gave away colonial lands to appease Freenesia, which had no real claim as Amerada was not a participant on the Micronational Cartography Society’s world map project. It was not the first time that Freenesia had attempted to cause destabilization in Amerada – in April of the same year, it “invaded” Amerada soil, attempting to make it a battleground for its ongoing rec-warring with the Republic of Baracão.

This clearly angered the various colonial leaders involved, regardless of political affiliation, and it confirmed what the opposition movement to Washburn’s government had always stated: the federal government did not care about colonial rights, but instead saw the colonies as an extension of its own policies.

The only colonial defence force that responded to the Freenesia claim was the Califario Defence Force, while the Tebec Militia was not deployed due to its government believing the claim to be bogus for two reasons: the Micronational Cartography Society reason mentioned above; and that rec-warring was not a policy that allowed legitimate claiming of sovereign lands. With the passage of the federal pacifistic law, known as Law 35, the colonies became the only governments in Amerada which could raise military forces, and that would trigger renewed development in the Tebec Militia2 and the creation of a military in Oh Scotia.

‘Shadow’ – Amerada’s Home-Grown Terrorist

Amerada was largely a peaceable micronation. Yet, its early setting as a micronation consisting of a population that was centralized in Hillcrest High presented stability problems. Such problems are the bane of teenaged-life and the founding fathers of Amerada, with their seemingly unique – to the population of Hillcrest High – idea to create a micronation were prime targets for the bullies to try to wreck havoc against. The population of Amerada was a diverse pool of Hillcrest High Schoolers, and by no stretch of the imagination did all participants in Amerada take the project as seriously as Washburn or Weatherhead. There was at least one person in the group who would rock the Amerada project by becoming its only home-grown terrorist.

This person would become known as ‘Shadow’ and would be the perpetrator of several attacks against Amerada’s sovereignty on the Internet. The first attack would prove to be the only definitive attack, resulting in ‘Shadow’ taking down the Amerada website and replacing it with a dedication to him. The website was soon back online, but the point had been made that Amerada’s government was subject to internal threat by a person who was able to gain access to the micronation’s most important asset. The attack sparked fierce accusations of who was behind the ‘Shadow’ identity and, as previously mentioned, the list of suspects named practically everyone in the Amerada government except Washburn.

Future attacks by the assailant would be fictitious in nature, with the final attack on 31 October 2001 involving the detonation of “two nuclear weapons” in the Illitoban Desert, near Amerada’s Immigration Centre. That attack occurred during a political unstable period and on the day of the first impeachment trial of Prime Minister William Steeves. Its fictitious nature suggests an attempt by the government to ‘liven up’ the Amerada simulation by throwing a curve in national security at a time when it was already weakened by a useless and inactive government, as well as a vicious opposition movement to the Democratic Liberal Party of Amerada rule. One opposition member, Liam Sinclair, would comment that the 31 October ‘Shadow’ attack “looked good on Washburn,” for which he would later be tried and convicted of supporting terrorism.

The identity of ‘Shadow’ has remained one of the mysteries of Amerada during and after its life. Following the 31 October attack, the list of suspects was reported by the Los Antréal Times-Journal to have been narrowed to Mark Hickman, the then Minister of Defence, and Jonathan Weatherhead, both of whom were upset with the impeachment proceedings against Steeves. According to the publication’s sources, Hickman had evidence that Weatherhead committed the attack, though it was widely believed at the time that both were in fact in collusion despite whichever pulled the trigger.

Was ‘Shadow’ a result of one (or more) member not taking the Amerada project seriously or was it more of a vengeful way to make Washburn, who put so much time and effort into Amerada, suffer? It was clear that there were members of the Amerada government who did not take the project seriously, but instead saw it as a fun way to cause trouble. It is plausible that the initial attack, in June 2001, was indeed an act of nonchalance more than an act of vengeance or cruelty. It was the concerned and upset reaction of Washburn to the initial attack that led the way for ‘Shadow’ to become a crueler opponent of the Amerada project. Those behind the mask of that home-grown terrorist now knew to what level they could cause Washburn anguish and when their friends were threatened, such as was Steeves in October 2001, they would use Shadow to send a clear message to Washburn: we can destroy the very project you hold dear.

Intermicronational Pains – Rec-warring Micronations Attempt to Drag Amerada Down

It was not uncommon for Washburn to threaten war with another micronation on Micro-Monde in order to get his way on the diplomacy stage; even if such threats were empty due to the lack of an Amerada military. It was the belief that Washburn had hacker-friends which worried other micronations, but following the ‘Shadow’ incidents, their worries were alleviated as they saw that any hacker-friends Washburn had were mainly concerned with making his life painful.

Amerada’s history of intermicronational tensions dates back to early 2001 when it was a new micronation on the very active Internet micronational scene. An established micronation, the Aercian Empire, would be the first, and not the last, to criticize the citizenship method employed by Amerada – counting website hits as simulated citizens. These tensions did not spark into a war, but rather went away with time, as both micronations were signatories to the Splendid Union of Micronations Charter, which forbid conflicts between members.

In January 2002, Amerada would find itself on war-footing with the United Republic of Tymaria. Tymaria was the micronational military power of the day, due in large part to the remnants of the Atteran military and Crimson Order incorporated into it, and many considered it foolish for Washburn to ignore a threat of military force from that micronation.

The escalating conflict was a result of the Tymarian state of Interland’s participation in the Micro-Monde3 world map project. Tymaria had recently made it known that it would use the Micronational Cartography Society’s world map project as its official map and requested that Washburn remove Interland from the Micro-Monde map. Opposition tensions in Amerada meant that a high-ranking officer of the Tymarian military was blinded by rage and failed to understand Washburn’s motives. That officer, Marshal Liam Sinclair, who commanded the Tymarian Army and was the Tymarian Defence Forces’ chief expert on Micro-Monde, believed that Washburn was refusing to give up Interland’s participation in Micro-Monde because he did not want to lose participants in his pet cartography project.

Washburn’s reason for not allowing Interland to leave Micro-Monde was sound – you just can’t erase a landmass from a map which is supposed to mimic a real planet. Yet the version of the Interland map used by Micro-Monde was the official map of that micronation and, to protect intellectual property rights, the Interlandic government didn’t want its official map on Micro-Monde when it was no longer intent on being a member of that organization. Washburn wanted to keep the outline of the Interlandic map and just erase the content and replace it with another Micro-Monde micronation on the basis of his “land can’t just disappear” argument.

Sinclair, having witnessed first hand Washburn’s less than colourful record on rights and freedoms in Amerada, saw the refusal as an example of him attempting to prevent Interland from exercising its right of national self-determination. Blinded by rage due to Washburn not allowing Interland4 to leave Micro-Monde, Sinclair advised the Tymarian government that action against Washburn may be the only way to resolve the issue. Washburn, fearing he was losing his effort to keep Interland on the Micro-Monde map, even with the technical arguments, invoked the support of Amerada for his cause.

Yet, Washburn would back down knowing that he could not go against the Tymarian military machine. Interland was removed from the Micro-Monde map and the fictional land, while not removed as per the initial wishes of the Tymarian government, was given to another Micro-Monde micronation. Interland would be the first micronation to leave Micro-Monde, but it would not be the last, and indeed it would not be the only one to have to oppose Washburn’s attempts to save his cartography project from oblivion.

In March 2002, the Union of South Mondesia announced that it would also leave the Micro-Monde world map project in favour of the Micronational Cartography Society’s project. Outraged at this decision to leave his project, Washburn announced that no micronation which was a participant in Micro-Monde could leave the project without his expressed permission. Once again, Washburn dragged Amerada into his personal Micro-Monde conflicts and had its government declare war on South Mondesia. Within a week, Amerada surrendered to South Mondesia as that micronation and its allies chose to ignore Washburn’s claims. The peace treaty between the two micronations stated that Amerada could not declare war against South Mondesia for at least four months – an article which Washburn attempted to delete from the treaty after it was signed (as he had moderator powers over the forum where the signing ceremony was held). He was called on the attempt and Amerada lost further respect intermicronationally due to the childish actions of its leader.

The conflict with South Mondesia also served to upset an ally of Amerada – the United Bobessian Republic. It was pulled into the conflict, which it deemed foolish, and surrendered to South Mondesia before Amerada so as to not have to deal with the issue any longer. In April 2002, the Bobessian Republic would declare war on Amerada as it became agitated with Washburn’s attempts to prevent micronations from leaving the Micro-Monde project, declaring Washburn to be a dictator as “he was never elected president of Amerada”5. Amerada was the victim of a Bobessian spam attack, but in the end both sides grew tired of the conflict and agreed to work together once again. Yet lasting damage to the relationship did occur, and for the duration of the existence of the Bobessian Republic, it was clear that Washburn no longer held respect in that micronation. Less than six months later, in October 2002, the Bobessian Republic would once again declare war on Amerada to assist the Republic of Toaka, a staunch ally of the Bobessians and macronationally-based micronation in Vancouver, Canada. Bobessian President Christopher Donle, launched his election platform at approximately the same time as the declaration of war, calling for the repeal of the Bobessian anti-war acts, passed following the first conflict with Amerada, noting that the current relationship (i.e. war) between the two micronations was “ideal”6.

Also in March 2002, the micronation of Pacary decided to leave the Micro-Monde project as its congress had voted to join the Micronational Cartography Society project instead. In the Amerada Embassy to Pacary, Washburn defiantly stated, “If Pacary leaves Micro-Monde, I’m afraid we will see this as a threat to the Republic of Amerada and therefore cut relations with Pacary….” Once again, Washburn, by virtue of his presidency over the Republic of Amerada drew the micronation and its population into a personal conflict outside the purview of his office.

This threat by Washburn was a critical turning point in Amerada as both his political opponents, and several of his prominent fellow Democratic Liberals, undertook secret discussions in the Union of South Mondesia to facilitate the overthrow of Earl Washburn and the formation of a new Amerada. Those involved in the discussions were Peter Little, Nicholas Bridgewater, Philip Locke, Liam Sinclair, Christopher Donle, Matt McIvor, and Glen Bohach. The discussions included whether or not Amerada should become a monarchy in the post-Washburn era, as well as the structure of a new government. In the end, no overthrow of Washburn occurred as Pacary decided to co-exist on both the Micro-Monde and Micronational Cartography Society maps to appease Washburn. Pacary proved sympathetic to the effects of having a personal project unravel with no possible way to stop the descent.

A micronation leaving Micro-Monde, an intermicronational organization which had two things in common with Amerada – Amerada’s current president was its founder and Amerada was participating in the project – was dragged into four conflicts as a result of Washburn using his position as president to force the Amerada government to commit to an antagonistic approach. If it were up to the actual population of Amerada at the time as to whether it would support Washburn’s side of these Micro-Monde conflicts, Amerada would have perhaps been able to gain respect intermicronationally.

  1. Rec-warring, as commonly defined, is a practice by which two or more micronations engage in fictional wars via narration. To many micronationalists, the practice is seen as a characteristic of the more immature micronations, as well as degrading to the seriousness of macronational war. []
  2. This renewed development would create two defence plans, including the Defence Plan 2002 as well as formalize the structure of the Militia. It was divided into three battalions, each with unique military units, including the common ones such as infantry, which were based at two military installations – one in San Datoon, and one in Los Antréal. The Tebec Military College was also created, which trained officers from Oh Scotia as well, and the Militia became closely intertwined with the Tebec Government’s economic simulation of the day, with each level of rank given individual pay scales, as well as special pay for deployments and education grants. []
  3. Not to be confused with the Francophone Micronational Sector’s world map project. []
  4. Sinclair’s first micronational participation was with Interland and at the time he was still a fiercely nationalistic Interlandic. []
  5. “Another View on UBR vs. Amerada, The NUT news service (New Macadam), issue #16, 8 April 2002. []
  6. Bobessian Broadcasting Company (BBC-BTN) News for Monday, 16 September 2002. []

MNN Interviews Micronationalist Liam Sinclair

Currently enjoying his mid-term break at university, Ras Liam Sinclair sat down with MNN’s Iain Vembria for an interview today. The following is the transcript of the discussion.

Vembria: How have you been enjoying your retirement so far?

Sinclair: My retirement to date has been excellent as I’ve been kept busy with school work and various events and commitments to my friends and fellow residents here at my dorm on campus. To be honest, I’ve all but forgotten about micronationalism except to fulfill special duties I agreed to do, such as being Attera’s Chief Returning Officer. Other than that, everything is running fast here at school and I find myself regularly under a pile of work as I pursue my university degree.

Vembria: How does life as an undergraduate compare to running a very small country?

Sinclair: An interesting question that I hope I can effectively tackle for the readership. As an undergraduate I have completed various courses prior to my engineering studies that deal with history and political science. I’ve always found that when it came to my political science courses, micronationalism was very effective in helping me to grasp the concept of politics as well as how nations are run – despite the fact that micronations aren’t real countries. You also learn a lot of lessons in micronationalism, as you do in any community, micronation or not, on how to deal with tough issues as well as on how to meet commitments. I think that micronationalism gave me many valuable life skills in these areas that have allowed me to be more reliable macronationally in my commitments as well as bring a vaster experience to situations that many people my age would be lacking. Running Attera for almost two years has basically mirrored my undergraduate involvement with various committees and events macronationally where I had to utilize leadership skills which were honed during my time in micronationalism.

Vembria: If micronations are actually going to continue existing what do you think could be done to make them interesting again?

Sinclair: There are many answers to this question and if I tried to list them all, we’d be here until the end of the world. I will focus on a couple of important points though, with those points being focused around populations. First, there are simply too many micronations with similar themes that serve no purpose but to divert resources between each other. What we need to do is take similar nations, such as two Western-themed monarchy nations, and combine them into one nation. This will give the resultant nation a greater population which will in turn allow it to develop at a greater speed as all resources of the population are concentrated on the one nation, instead of two or three nations. This brings us to the point of “but if you have dual citizens, then the risk of having those resources diverted remains.” Exactly, which is why stricter controls on dual citizenship are required in micronationalism. I once believed that dual citizenship was good since the lesser-off nations could gain valuable, experienced, citizens from other nations to assist them with their development. I no longer believe this after having been Attera’s Prime Minister. I have seen some dual citizens participate ten fold in one nation and do jack-all in the other nation. Clearly, in order for a micronation to be interesting and develop further, its citizens must be committed to only that nation, and not divert their talents elsewhere.

Economic Simulation

Tebec Government Press Release 20030824

24 August 2003

In the latter part of 2002, the Tebec Government worked very hard on an economic simulation that would bring the simulated population into the “mix”. Efforts on the economic simulation were delayed in 2003 due to various other obligations which required attention. Today, the Premier’s Office has ordered the formal abandonment of those efforts as Tebec prepares to do away completely with the simulated population concept which we inherited during our time as a colony of Amerada. Approximately sixty or more pages of information offline pertaining to the development of the economic simulation will be transferred to electronic files as time permits and added to the National Library.

At this time, the Government has no plans to restart consideration of an economic system for the Commonwealth, and as such, by order of the Premier, the Ministry of Finance has been disbanded until such a time there is a demand for the resumption of economic services within the Commonwealth. Any questions can be directed to the Premier’s Office.

Attera joins new Micronational World Map Project

Regent Sinclair announced on March 12th 2003 that the Atteran Empire will be leaving behind the MCS World Map, on which it has resided for many years, effective immediately. The Atteran Empire will be joining a new project, known as the Alternate Realities World Map Project, along with five other nations – Babkha, Baracao, Venantia, Tebec, and the Collective Unconcious.

The Alternate Realities map is designed to be a world map where the more serious micronations (sometimes referred to as realist or virtualist micronations) can reside and work together on common goals without having to put up with the Apollo Sector, which, due to various events, has lost respect amongst the realist nations of Micras (the MCS World Map), over the past month. Alarico Veto Cgulia, a high ranking citizen of Baracao, stated that “it’s very good to see Babkha and Attera working together on such a project, something unheard of a few months ago.”

Both nations are currently cooperating on the Alternate Realities project so that a common goal may be achieved. The Alternate Realities world map is run by HIH Ras Bit Sinclair of Attera, and HE Abbas Namvari of Babkha.

Colonies/Territory to develop common economic system

The Amerada colonies of Oh Scotia and Floerta, along with the Commonwealth of Tebec, an external territory of the Republic, have agreed to setup a common economics model that will provide a basis for how the economy in each of the three shall operate.

It is hoped that the economic model which results will eventually spread into a national economic model for Amerada, and perhaps even Micro-Monde.

Of course, like all big conferences in Amerada, this convention is likely to be found in a matter of weeks with a pungent mold growing about it and lifeless corpses underneath.

News Briefs: 6 Jan 2003

# (ATTERAN EMPIRE) Jan 06/2003: After years of secrecy, the Atteran Grand Executive Council, the Upper House of the Atteran Parliament, will begin conducting its legislative proceedings in public. The “new” GEC can be found at this link. Prime Minister Liam Sinclair stated that the opening of the GEC to the public is part of the ongoing plan to make the functions of the Empire more transparent to the general public. The First Session of the GEC gets underway later this month.
# (COMMONWEALTH OF TEBEC) Jan 03/2003: Registration has ended for the Tebec Commons By-Election to be held starting January 10/2003. The election will be the first time an email ballot system will be used within the Republic of Amerada. If the new senate act passes the federal legislature, there will be a general election for all of Amerada within the next few weeks and the email ballot system will see more common use within the Republic. Email ballots were outlawed by a law written and passed by the Washburn Administration. The law is still in effect for the colonies of Amerada. Tebec, being an external territory, maintains only cultural ties with the Republic.
# (AUDENTIOR) Jan 06/2003: The Audente elections are underway. They last from January 05/2003 until January 08/2003. So far, almost half of all registered voters have cast their ballots. Those who have been elected to their positions include: Aaron Bruno (High Judge), Philip Locke (Public Defender), Harvey Steffke (Public Accuser), Thomas Cutterham (PICO: Economics), Eoin Dornan (PICO: Interior Affairs), and Sirithil Nos Feanor (PICO: Science). Scott Alexander currently leads for the all-powerful position of Premier. For all the latest results in the election, check out the Audente Election Office.