Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How To Start Your Own Country

Copied from WikiHow

How to Start Your Own Country

Anyone can start their own country! That doesn't mean that people will recognize it, but hey, they generally won't stop you from trying--as long as they don't see it as a threat. So if you'd like to do your own thing in your own country, here's how to establish a micronation.

1. Find territory for your micronation. Most micronationalists use their houses, land no one wants, or land on other planets. Some micronations exist on land unclaimed by other countries because of a loophole in a treaty. The Republic of Indian Stream, for example, was on land between the U.S. and Canada but is not under the jurisdiction of either because of ambiguous terms in the Treaty of Paris.[1] If you can't find land, though, make some! One millionaire activist piled sand onto a reef located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji and created an artificial island to start the Republic of Minerva.[2] But if you're not rich enough to make land, then just make it up--some of the more lighthearted micronations claim land on imaginary continents or planets.

2. Declare your independence. If you have land, a declaration of independence will serve to claim that territory. Keep in mind, however, that actually sending your declaration of independence to gain recognition can lead to legal or military action if anyone disputes that claim. For example, when The Republic of Minerva issued a declaration of independence in letters to neighboring countries, the neighbors were very perturbed, and one of the countries decided to send their people to the island to take down the Minervan flag.[2] Besides, you can still function like an independent nation without actually declaring independence, like Taiwan does![3]

3. Set up a government and constitution. This is a good time to consider why you're starting a country, and how you would like it to turn out. Here are some examples:
* Recreating the past - e.g. Nova Roma, dedicated "to the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture and virtues".[4]

4. Acquire citizens. You can have only yourself, if you want, or anyone who wants to join. Setting up a website, however, will help publicize your micronation to potential citizens around the world. You must also decide what you require of your citizens. Do they have to pass a test? Abide by certain laws? And what will they have to identify themselves as citizens of your country - A passport? Driver's license? Badge?

5. Decide on symbols for your country. You should have a flag, a coat of arms, and any other way to represent yourself. Once you have symbols chosen, you can issue stamps, medals, and currency, if you'd like. Some micronations go as far as inventing their own culture and language. Of course, you might be content to create your own letterhead. After all, it's your country!

* If you want to stand a chance of being recognized, your country should have territory, a government, a permanent population, and be able to host diplomatic relations (the Montevideo Convention's requirements for statehood).
* Study existing and well-established micronations. What has led to their success? What can you learn from them?
* If your intent is to have a functional and independent country, you will ultimately need some sort of basic infrastructure (e.g, roads, school, buildings, hospital, fire station).
* If you act too serious, existing governments might see you as a secession movement instead of a country for fun.

1. ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Indian_Stream
2. ↑ 2.0 2.1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Minerva
3. ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China
4. ↑ http://www.novaroma.org/
5. ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerican_Empire
6. ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_and_Lesbian_Kingdom_of_the_Coral_Sea_Islands

The Kingdom of Talossa
The world's GREATEST small nation, since 1979.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Being Tall

There are many virtues of being tall....people can find me in crowds and I can find them, tall women are happy to date someone taller, and a history professor told me: ´all our great Presidents were tall´.

There are a few drawbacks (small inconveniences)...about which I´m not complaining, but instead thought I might document (possibly in a series of photo essays).

1) Travel
Overseas buses, poda podas, cars, planes, and airport lounges primarily.
2) Mirrors
The height of mirrors in homes.
3) Kitchens
Mostly chopping blocks, islands, etc. for preparing meals.
4) Shelving
The bottom shelf in supermarkets or kitchens.
5) Blackboards and markerboards
I seem to only be able to write comfortably in the top 1/3 of these boards.
6) Beds
I don´t mind my feet hanging off the end at all. It is only when a short bed has both a headrest and a footrest that I am in trouble...having to sleep in the fetal position.
7) Clothes Shopping
Most of the time I need to order long pants from catalog.

One of the problems with most mirrors is that they are hung low for tall people. Therefore, the angle at which we see ourselves does not allow us to see our faces but a bit farther down.

Mirrors: For me, a lot of the time, I see my stomach.

Travel: At an airport ´lounge´ in Delhi...trying to sleep in chairs that had armrests between the chairs.


¨Wealth takes away the sharp edges of our moral sensitivities and allows a comfortable confusion about sin and virtue. The difference between rich and poor is not that the rich sin more than the poor, but that the rich find it easier to call sin a virtue...That apathy leads to the atrophy of the moral sense.¨ Henri Nouwen, Gracias, p. 159-160

¨Have daylight mercy on my midnight soul.¨ Frederick Buechner, Godric, p. 140

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The intersection between 3 things

My personality is such that I feel things first, then build a contruct of thinking that fits onto that scaffolding. But I've read research that suggests most people are like that, so I don't feel as bad.

I have (seems like) always had an interest in 3 ideas and the possible intersection between them:

1) Being a follower of Christ
2) Existentialism
3) Anarchism

These ideas spring from a gut feeling, that all of these have elements that are right or true, can be followed, or explain the world better than other ideas.

However, none of these three ideas play particularly well with each other and especially in the Christian circles I've participated don't allow for Existentialism and Anarchism.

Is there a possibility that one can be an existentialist, an anarchist, and a Christian?

I can explain, maybe, in a future post the appeal these have on me or my interpretation of anarchy or existentialism that might assuage some of the more 'concerned' feelings about this post.

If you know any good books about the last two in particular, please recommend them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

You know you're an Anderson, when...

In honor of, 'you know you're a redneck when'. (Warning: not all points on this list will be funny).

You know you're an Anderson, when...
1) You ride in a 15 passenger van affectionately called the Silver Bullet.
2) You come home from school and there are 3 police cars in the driveway.
3) The family picture shows people of every color, size, and shape.
4) Somebody always wants to borrow money.
5) You have to learn restraint techniques to help your siblings calm down.
6) A big family can't all have one team to root for.
7) You know that the oldest child always gets their own room and gets to sit in the front passenger seat in the car.
8) You bring completed booklets of A&P grocery green stamps to redeem them for lamps and other household furniture at the A&P redemption center.
9) Government cheese and peanut butter first go to a Christian camp that cares for inner-city children, but when there is too much, the family gets the leftovers.
10) Almost no new clothes, all hand-me-downs.
11) You can't pick a good, real Christmas tree if you tried.
12) Bible stories are read before being sent to school each morning.
13) You sat down together to watch the Waltons or Little House on the Prairie each Thursday evening with a Tupperware bowl for popcorn.
14) Music is a big part of the family atmosphere; we sing hymns together at family gatherings.
15) 11 ways to split $0, is still $0.
16) You see your dad cry when he has to set a necessary boundary for the kids.
17) The family sits down together every night for dinner and holds hands for prayer.
18) New furniture, paint, and carpeting wasn't purchased for the house until almost all of the kids had left.
19) You were raised on the Gaithers, Psalty, Sandi Patti, Larnelle Harris, Ravi Zacharias, Vernon McGee, etc.
20) Some sister has already borrowed your sweater, coat, or scarf.
21) Depending on which table you sit at for Thanksgiving, you can hear conversations about God, politics, the environment, the economy, family history, family troubles, sex, poop, memories, embarrassments, etc.
22) There is so much crazy sh&t in the family, that news that one of your brothers was shot in the head (he was grazed and is fine) doesn't even show up in conversation for almost a week.
23) When one of the children start dating, mom's first question, affectionately asked, is: what color are they?
24) You see God's provision....small miracles like the new $20 bill found under a doormat, enabling the family to buy groceries until the next payday.
25) Dad has repaired so many family autos, that if he checks the car bills from the last 15 years has certainly sent two of the owner's children to college.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Here in El Alto, Bolivia

The follow-up post to Biomimicry will have to wait.

I am here in El Alto, Bolivia about to catch a flight back to Cochabamba. I came to El Alto on Good Friday to celebrate Easter with my Word Made Flesh Bolivia friends and also many of my WMF Peru friends who also came to Bolivia to celebrate together.

This has been a fantastic time, filled with the gracious hospitality of WMF Bolivia, lots of laughter, worship, and celebration. Our community worshipped together, received messages of Scripture, and several devotions between Good Friday and Easter. Being the world travelers they are, some left Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for Argentina, Peru, and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I am enjoying my last little bit of time with the Bolivia community and will return to my Spanish studies shortly.

Monday, April 6, 2009


My Biomimicry paraphrase: Everything that humans can do, nature already does it better. Or for a person of faith...everything that humans can do, God already does it better through nature.

In the book, Biomimicry, Janine Benyus does a better job of explaining:

¨Biomimicry comes from the Greek ´bios´ which means life and ´mimesis´ or imitation.¨ It is founded on the following 3 principles:

¨1. Nature as model. Biomimicry is a new science that studies nature´s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problem, e.g. a solar cell inspired by a leaf.

2. Nature as measure. Biomimicry uses an ecological standard to judge the ¨rightness¨of our innovations....Nature has learned: What works. What is appropriate. What lasts.

3. Nature as mentor. Biomimicry is a new way of viewing and valuing nature. It introduces an era based not on what we can extract from the natural world, but on what we can learn from it.¨

Hopefully in the next post, I will illustrate a number of different designs in nature that demonstrate the elegance, complexity & simplicity combined, and efficiency in God´s creation both in the individual and in ecosystems.