Creekbed: Überstadt’s natural wealth

A seasonal creek runs through a wooded park in Mountlake Terrace, a commuter town in Washington State. This stream is not named by the American government. To Überstadtis, however,  it is known as Edmount’s Finger. This name was coined by President David Salapa of Ultamiya, so called because  the rocky bed represents the furthest reach of Überstadti influence. The Kingdom’s sole colony, called Creekbed, lies on the banks of Edmount’s Finger.

Salapa hails from perhaps the most prominent mining micronation. The Ultamian Mining Company has excavated coal, pyrite, and manganese, as well as the sandstone ubiquitous throughout Appalachia. Überstadt, however, lacks such mineral wealth. The rocks of Edmount are useless glacial till. Instead, our wealth grows in the moist humus of Creekbed. The beautiful forest is what makes our country rich.

Creekbed is a gentle slope, shaded by towering Douglas firs and blanketed in moss and blackberry vines. The beauty of the colony reflects the landscape that still exists throughout vast swathes of the Pacific Northwest. Tourism and forestry are common macronational uses of such land, neither of which are sustainable in such a small territory as Creekbed. The colony’s economic value lies not in its beauty or in the trees, but in the shrubbery.

Creekbed Colony
Creekbed in the afternoon

Before there were artificial pills and tablets with which to treat illness, there were natural remedies. King Adam, who like many micronationalists fills several different roles in his nation’s public life, had this in mind when he established the Überstadti private sector.

“Where nature causes a body harm or inconvenience, she often provides a treatment or cure. A great many of the plants of my region have proven medicinal value, usable without any processing. That’s why I knew Apotheker would be a success.”

Apotheker is the mainstay of Überstadt’s economy, a pharmaceutical company that owns one hundred square feet of the plant-filled enclave. Apotheker’s simple remedies are harvested from its plot of greenery.

Fern
Underside of a sword fern frond

Sword ferns are the most valuable plants of Creekbed. The underside of each of the distinct jagged leaves of the male fern, whose species grows with great density in the northwestern United States, bears one to two dozen sori (spore-producing pods). These sori break apart into a yellow-orange powder that effectively counteracts the small dose of poison injected by stinging nettles, soothing the pain of the rash. The powder is made by Apotheker simply by scraping the spore pods off of each leaf, a practice that is harmless to the plant. The powder is sold under the name of Sporum, and has been succesfully shipped to California.

The red huckleberry (in fact a member of the blueberry family) is the second most common medicinal plant in the colony. The tart red berries of the shrub make for good eating, but it is the leaves that are of the greatest use to the ill. Huckleberry leaves fall from the plant every winter, and can thus be collected in the fall without harming the bush. These leaves may be dried and made into a tea, which soothes a sore throat when gargled due to their astringent properties.

Blackberry vines are plentiful, as well. While they lack medical use, they yield sweet berries when given proper nutrition. The Edmount’s Finger Half-Dam, which forms a simple stone that spans half of the creek, has significantly increased the deposit of nutrient-rich silt in Creekbed, which may be used to fertilize the blackberries in the hope of cultivating a plentiful berry crop.

The plants of Creekbed form Überstadt’s natural wealth, a set of living resources with the ability to relieve human pain while aiding the development of the Überstadti economy. They prove that our planet rewards mankind when properly cared for. May all micronations maximize the utility of their natural resources while simultaneously preserving them for their nations’ futures.

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On the Sector: Our foreign relations do matter

There are two main categories of governmental responsibility: internal affairs and external affairs. Domestic policy and foreign policy. Dealings with citizens and dealings with other states. All micronationalists are aware of these two major roles of their governments. What is often not recognized, however, is the fact that these two areas of micronational development are not in opposition to each other. Our foreign affairs do indeed matter, and help encourage the internal development not only of one’s own nation, but of all others with which they come in contact.

Sôgmô Will Sörgel of Sandus recently addressed intermicronational media following the congress of the Citizens’ Communist Party of Sandus. A representative of Überstadt National News was present. At one point, the Sôgmô discussed Sandum foreign policy, more specifically the controversial Libera policy, used in the past as the political basis for frequent and lengthy communiques regarding perceived offenses against his state. This policy led to several of what have been termed “media wars,” aggressive back-and-forth arguments between micronational state media. When asked about how the media wars affected Sandus, the Sôgmô replied that such international incidents sometimes, as in the case of the Kozuc agricultural issue,  helped Sandum philosophy develop. What Sörgel told the press was, in effect, that intermicronational relations can impact internal affairs positively. I wish to discuss how this occurs.

When we expose our nations to others in a setting like MicroWiki, we are making our creation available to be publicly critiqued. The people of our sector represent a host of differing ideologies, philosophies, and experiences. Our uniqueness is reflected in the nations we have built. By putting our projects out before this hundred-strong diverse jury, we are bound to receive feedback. Sometimes, this feedback is not what we want to hear. That is a good thing. Any nation active in international affairs on MicroWiki will be criticized, not only on their foreign policy, but often on the domestic policies or cultural traits that either give rise to disputes or are remotely involved in some way. A micronational  community is full of people ready and willing to give each other ideas on how to develop their nations. The experience of other micronationalists is important to take into account, for we all have differing strengths. Not everybody can build a culture like Daniel Anderson can, and nor everybody is a politician of Alexander Reinhardt’s caliber. The experiences of others are just as important as their ideas in this way- they learned over time through effort what makes a micronation function. It is in everyone’s interest to expose their micronation to others.

Some micronations feel that they have obtained all that they can from the community, and so they leave. This is disappointing. A nation that is so developed that it has gotten all that it can out of MicroWiki should not leave, because their accomplishments make them an ideal mentor figure for the micronations still on the road to prosperity. Does a man who finally receives a long-sought medical degree sit on it for the rest of his life? No, he uses it to help others. Even if a nation has no room to benefit from the community, it can improve micronationalism as a whole by helping others develop. This is a noble task worthy of noble nations.

Überstadt would not be where it is today if I had not brought to my people ideas for our development that were inspired by my involvement with the good people and nations of MicroWiki. Our foreign relations do matter and do benefit our internal affairs. Everyone benefits from constructive criticism the the advice of others more experienced than they. Diplomacy, which is the basic platform for the more formal varieties of such discourse, is therefore not a distraction from what happens within one’s nation, but a tool to improve what happens within one’s nation. The community matters, and we all owe it our best, for the sake of micronationalism as a whole.