Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Virtual Nation

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Every once in a while, I find a jaw-dropper article in the daily newspaper. "Answer Man: In Search of Virtual Countries" is one of the you've-got-to-be-kidding-me type:

"I was recently looking in the 'Embassies' section of the D.C. telephone directory to get a visa for an upcoming trip when I came across a startling — to me, anyway—listing for the Embassy of the Dominion of Melchizedek, a country I had never heard of, even after many years of involvement in foreign affairs. I could, of course, call the embassy directly, but I thought you could do a real service in providing a complete answer for the benefit of your wide readership.
Bill Kugler, Chevy Chase


"Sadly, the phone at the Embassy of the Dominion of Melchizedek has been disconnected. And don't try sending anything to the embassy's old address on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, either. It was always just a mail drop, and it's not even that anymore.

"In other words, you're out of luck if you want to pick up travel brochures about Melchizedek. Of course, you could go [this site] , a Web site with a wealth of information about this jewel of the South Pacific. But it might be more prudent to contemplate the headline atop a 1995 article in The Washington Post about Melchizedek: 'The Ruse That Roared.'

"That's one of the kinder headlines about Melchizedek that have appeared in papers around the world. Others include 'Plot Thickens in Phony Bank Scheme' and 'Insurer Chartered by Phony Country.'

"Melchizedek is a virtual nation set up in 1990. (The name comes from the Old Testament's 'king of righteousness,' who blessed Abraham.) It was founded by Mark Logan Pedley , a Californian who, like his father, David Pedley (author of the Melchizedek Bible), was, shall we say, not unfamiliar with the inside of a courtroom.

"Mark Pedley now calls himself Tzemach Korem and is the head of Melchizedek's 'house of elders.' Korem claims that several atolls in the South Pacific as well as Antarctica comprise the country, or what he prefers to call the 'ecclesiastical sovereignty.'

"The country, er, ecclesiastical sovereignty, seems to exist solely to sell banking and incorporation papers that con men have used to advance their crooked schemes. Things have been quiet lately, but there were several Melchizedek-related swindles in the 1990s.

"The Dominion also issues its own passports, though Korem told Answer Man he encourages people to have dual citizenship.

"What's to keep terrorists from acquiring a passport from the Dominion and using it for nefarious purposes? 'We do require the applicant to fill out a form that gives us information that we can use for investigating that person,' Korem said. 'In addition, if we have any suspicions, we dig deeper.'

"Oh, okay then.

"The Dominion of Melchizedek isn't the world's first or last 'virtual country.' In 1967, a Briton named Paddy Roy Bates climbed atop a rusty tower six miles off the coast of England that had been built in World War II as an antiaircraft gun platform. At the time, Britain's territorial waters extended only three miles from its coast, so Bates called his new nation Sealand and styled himself Prince Roy. He soon had a flag and was issuing coins and stamps.

"A few years ago, investors tried to turn Sealand into an Internet hub that could operate outside the prying eyes and restrictive laws of other nations. It ended in recriminations. Imagine that: getting rooked by a fictitious nation.

"At least Sealand actually did rise from the sea. In 2000, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took action against Lazarus R. Long (aka 'Prince Lazarus,' aka Howard Turney), who sold securities over the Internet to fund the development of 'New Utopia,' a country he promised to build in the middle of the Caribbean. (Prince Lazarus is planning it still. Charter citizenships for New Utopia are available at the 'country's' Web site. They take PayPal.)

"Needless to say, the State Department doesn't recognize any of these bogus nations. Take Answer Man's word for it that when you call to ask about them, you get a sort of exasperated sigh from whomever is unlucky enough to answer the phone."
If you have some time to spare, you might want to have a look at the Dominion's web site. Lots of links to explore! But I make no promise that all the links are working.

57 Comments:

At 4/12/2006 8:28 AM, Anonymous Mustang said...

So many possibilities, so little time. Imagine being able to expel persons of undesireable character (aka terrorists, illegal immigrants, mothers in law) to the Dominion.

 
At 4/12/2006 9:06 AM, Blogger nanc said...

soooo, perhaps my mountain in arkansas is NOT my own country after all?

 
At 4/12/2006 9:23 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mustang,
I thought of those possibilites you mentioned--and a few more. Hehehe.

 
At 4/12/2006 9:25 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nanc,
If you have the wherewithal to defend it, that mountain top is yours. Ask anyone in the hills of east Tennessee!

In the newspaper (print edition) was a picture of the king of the Dominion. I wish I could have posted that one!

 
At 4/12/2006 10:08 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

oh AOW I like mustangs idea!..lolz
guess we wont b bookin our vacation there this year eh?..grinz

 
At 4/12/2006 10:55 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

Had I known about this I might have set up my own nation a long time ago. Now I just need to come up with a name.

 
At 4/12/2006 11:14 AM, Blogger nanc said...

O.T. - a must read for ALL christians, if your church is taking part in this nonsense, beware - it is heading through the wide gate:

http://www.newswithviews.com/PaulProctor/proctor91.htm

if you enjoy paul proctor's writing, please send him an e-mail at the addy at the bottom of his articles. he needs all the encouragement we can give him - he ALWAYS responds.

 
At 4/12/2006 11:17 AM, Blogger nanc said...

well, that was quick on his part, he just sent me this new (old) article which ties in with the aforementioned article:

http://www.newswithviews.com/religion/religion13.htm

 
At 4/12/2006 11:32 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

BWAAAAHHAAAAAHHHHAAAA!!!

Who would fall for such a thing?

 
At 4/12/2006 11:43 AM, Blogger nanc said...

it's so beautiful here in nancland i nearly went out without my mp (muhammedporktection) spf2000! sometimes there is a fine line between fun and duty.

 
At 4/12/2006 11:58 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Uh oh. Looks like the jig is up. I'll have to quickly dispose of my Estherland passport. Drat!

 
At 4/12/2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nanc,
I just read the link you left a few comments back. I'm afraid that many churches have falled into this trap-- all fun, no doctrine. A mix is fine, but doctrinal bankruptcy opens the door to other things.

Ever read C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters? I rather imagine that Lewis would have included a chapter related to that link you provided.

 
At 4/12/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

The Dominion? Weren't they trying to capture the alpha quadrant in Star Trek DS9?

 
At 4/12/2006 2:03 PM, Blogger nanc said...

a.c. - beamish would know.

 
At 4/12/2006 2:03 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Speaking of suckers.

Everyone catch the story that President Bush was told that Saddam's mobile labs of death weren't trailers for weapons production after all?

Lefties were telling you this but you never listen.

Lot of right wing blogs trying to spin this one but the verdict is in and you'll believe anything.

 
At 4/12/2006 2:30 PM, Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Lefties were telling you this but you never listen.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

 
At 4/12/2006 2:31 PM, Anonymous Mustang said...

Could it be? I mean, could it be that Ducky-doo has a focus problem? Oh, say it ain't so.

 
At 4/12/2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

It seems easier to break away from a nation (say the UK) instead of creating one from scratch. Take Bermuda. They can become their own nation and still count on England to defend her or Uncle Sam if England is busy in the Falklands. If tomorrow Gibraltar wanted to declare independence and become the Grand Duchy of Gibraltar, I suspect they’d have little trouble.

Bermuda is an odd little nation. Too expensive for most tourists, they now rely on the business of financial corporations regulated out of the US market. If those laws change or if another location liberalizes their economy, Bermuda could become a ghost town … or go back to growing onions.

I think the hills of east Tennessee is a more secure location. I hear even tax collectors don’t go there … I can dream, can’t I?

 
At 4/12/2006 2:50 PM, Blogger nanc said...

well, i know here in the ozarks they have a saying...

 
At 4/12/2006 3:55 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
I think the hills of east Tennessee is a more secure location. I hear even tax collectors don’t go there...

We visited the hills of east Tennessee a few years ago. If you're not one of them, you're not easily accepted.

They still have lots of dirt and gravel roads in those hills. And you're right, the revenuers don't like to go there; many haven't been heard of since their visits.

Hard scrabble folk in those hills. And all of them are armed.

 
At 4/12/2006 4:27 PM, Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Ah, yes, the Hatfields and McCoys.

Maybe I’ll just visit Jamestown for the 400th anniversary. I’ve never been south of DC. Tampa (New York South) doesn’t count.

 
At 4/12/2006 5:03 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Actually I think Miami is officially New York South but Tampa is close. As far as those mobile labs are concerned, I thought they had been discounted at least two years ago. Maybe the news is slower in some places.

 
At 4/12/2006 5:08 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Here's a headline, apparently that just made it to wherever ducky's rock is:

Tests rule out suspect bio-labs
Tuesday, April 15, 2003 Posted: 5:53 PM EDT (2153 GMT)
KARBALA, Iraq (CNN) -- The buried labs U.S. troops found last week were not the mobile chemical and biological weapons labs one U.S. Army general suspected, according to the head of an expert team brought in to examine them.

But hey....thanks for the update!!

 
At 4/12/2006 5:19 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
My mother's family hails from east Tennessee. The family feud was very ugly--at least two dead, probably three.

To this day, I cannot mention my grandfather's name in east Tennessee without being shunned, and he was one of the dead ones--probably murdered, but we don't know for sure whether or not it was a suicide. Nobody there will even tell me where my grandfather might be buried.

I can't say more in a public forum. Identity protection, and all that.

My immediate ancestors fled the mayhem, or they'd be dead as well. The ones seeking revenge wouldn't venture into the D.C. area, thank God!

All the above to say...Don't mess with hillbillies! And the Hatfields/McCoys is the most famous one, but not the only one.

You've never been south of D.C.??? Wow!

I, too, have been thinking about visiting Jamestown for the festivities. I haven't been there in some years, and much has been done to make that historic site much more informative.

 
At 4/12/2006 6:36 PM, Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Yes, it seems like a good time to get acquainted with the south. Perhaps I’d drive through parts of Virginia and North Carolina before visiting ex-New Yorkers we know in Atlanta. We like history and quaint scenic places. Being from NYC we find that in Connecticut but obviously it would have a completely different flavor down south.

Oh, yes, we have some black sheep in the family ... in Brooklyn. I don't know the whole story.

 
At 4/12/2006 7:35 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
I love the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge. Get off the beaten track and find the quaint places.

 
At 4/12/2006 8:36 PM, Blogger LASunsett said...

If this doesn't take the cake. I don't know what deos.

 
At 4/12/2006 10:54 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Warriors, come out to plaaaaaaaaaaaay...

 
At 4/12/2006 11:10 PM, Anonymous Debbie said...

Wow, that's a hoot. First I've heard of that 'nation'. Thanks for sharing! Make up our own nation, .... think of the possibilities....

 
At 4/13/2006 10:08 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Can someone please tell Iran watch that the recent news about the labs was that Chucklenuts knew they were not chemical labs BEFORE he made the announcement they were.

It pains me to help you folks break out of your FAUX News slumber. Not the most contemporary minds, are you.

 
At 4/13/2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
It pains me to help you folks break out of your FAUX News slumber.

Don't be a masochist.

 
At 4/13/2006 10:53 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

It doesn't pain me to point out that Ducky is once again, as always, wrong, and that of three assessments of the suspected vehicles, two of them concluded that they were in fact mobile labs for biological weapons. See this and this.

Although I would be remiss in not pointing out that Ducky is merely fulfilling his leftist compulsion to convince everyone he encounters on the Internet that he's a blithering moron, I'm curious. How many people really believe we went to war with the 12-year long Gulf War cease fire violating, WMD intransigent, terrorist supporting Iraq because Bush "sexed up" intel about a truck?

 
At 4/13/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger John Brown said...

Censorman,

Aren't you embarrased that you're wallowing around in your ignorance like a pig in shit even as the gods you deify and worship admit what liars they are.

I sure would be. Then again, I'm not a prevaricating leftist like you.

The fact that "I Got 5 On It" Cheney lied, though, is really a moot point. After all, Clinton lied to take Uncle Sam to war against Serbia. G-Dub the Elder lied to take Uncle Sam to war against Iraq. Ronnie the Crip lied to take Uncle Sam to war against Nicaragua. Jimmy lied to take Uncle Sam to war against the Soviet Union by proxy using Pakistan's ISI to create alCIAda, etc., etc., etc.

What's not a moot point is that because of Sambo Rice, MafiaDon and Sambo Colin's lies, Uncle Sam is taking a major ass kicking in Iraq.

An ass-kicking that is driving this wretched, fading republic into bankrupcy.

An ass-kicking with defeat so palpable and eminent that the only thing they have to show for their criminality is a team of death squads that runs around blowing up mosques and drilling holes in their political enemies.

So take a bow, Censorman. Not for being wrong about everything, though you were. Take a bow because you and your fellow liars have helped to bring this sick nation to its knees.

I couldn't have asked for a better ally.

 
At 4/13/2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Thanks Beamish, I hadn't read anything over at Cap'n Crunch's site for some time.

Wow, after biological and chemical warfare experts debunk the Mobile Labs of Death we get a CIA report supporting the president.

AFTER the expert report debunking the labs we get the CIA disinformation. How many times have you stiffs fallen for this?

 
At 4/13/2006 11:21 AM, Blogger John Brown said...

Thought this was pretty funny:

Uncle Sam's Jackboots Kicked off Campus

Four military recruiters hastily fled a job fair Tuesday morning at UC Santa
Cruz after a raucous crowd of student protesters blocked an entrance to the
building where the Army and National Guard had set up information tables.

 
At 4/13/2006 11:29 AM, Blogger John Brown said...

Here's your war, Censorman:

4 More GI Jackboots Whacked in Iraq

The U.S. military reported the deaths of four more American soldiers. Three soldiers were killed yesterday in roadside bombings -- two south of Baghdad and a third on patrol east of the capital. A soldier from the 101st Airborne Division died Monday from a "non-battle injury" near Tal Afar in the north.

 
At 4/13/2006 11:34 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

JoBro,

You and Ducky are the leftists here. Calling me a leftist is silly, but still doesn't count towards my standing request that you identify yourself as a moron in all posts.

Ducky,

Remember back in first grade when your teacher tried in vain to convince you that Monday came before Tuesday and you organized a sit-in to protest her cultural imperialism and barbaric Judeo-Christian mathematical laws?

Well, it turns out your teacher was right, and that May 28th, 2003, the day the CIA and DIA released a joint assessment report declaring the discovery of mobile biological laboratories, comes before May 29th, 2003, the day President Bush announced said findings.

We'll work on shapes and colors next, idiot.

 
At 4/13/2006 11:42 AM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

Interesting the symbolism chosen. Seems they were taking a few liberties!

tmw

 
At 4/13/2006 12:03 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Widow,
I think you're the first to comment on the symbolism. Quite a seal, isn't it?

Maybe the seal is supposed to say "All are welcome." Of course, the seal doesn't give an hint about a financial fleecing.

 
At 4/13/2006 12:35 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

...and Beamish, Cheney is still maintaining they were biological labs. Quite a crew.

 
At 4/13/2006 12:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

I'm going with the Washington Post story Beamish. Bush spun the matter after he knew there was no Mobile Lab of Death anywhere in Iraq.



On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

 
At 4/13/2006 1:04 PM, Blogger John Brown said...

Hey Censorman,

Ducky's got a point, doesn't he?

Uncle Sam had already won by May of 2003... why did they have to spin and lie 2 months later?

I mean, they already won, didn't they?

And now, the fact that you're continuing to belabor the same lies 3 years later not only elucidates your ignorance about what was taking place at the time, but also your absence of any sense of what's politically or military relevant today.... so typical of a leftist like yourself.

At this point, the only people who really care about the transparent lies BushCo told in order to fabricate a case for war are people eager to avoid the story that matters today: all the Head Coffins Uncle Sam has itself by attacking a country on lies based on transparent propaganda to preserve the petrodollar and the myth of White Supremacy.

Your efforts to cover up that obvious fact with White Supremacy and racism belies the empty space between your ears.

 
At 4/13/2006 5:24 PM, Blogger George Mason said...

A virtual country--an utterly intriguing and charming idea. It immediately suggested to me all sorts of covert operation possibilities for us to use. Here's sort of a reminder, from days long before virtual reality. Britain hired its best magicians to devise a means of protecting Alexandria, Egypt, from Nazi bombers. They did it, too. Part that we know involved intense light which made visual bomb targetting impossible. The British were so pleased that, to this day, they have never declassified just what the magicians did. I really hope DoD is deep into this kind of stuff!

 
At 4/13/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

John Brownstain

I think it is time you follow Tom Fords example and leave the United States. You have never used your head anyway and a beheading will be an improvement.

You can even join in the chant of Allah Ahkbar as your friends sever your head. If you behave maybe they will let you sing Allah Ahkbar before they chop your head.

 
At 4/13/2006 8:41 PM, Blogger Freedomnow said...

Lets get all the idiots together on this one, Ducky and Brownie. Give them a sound bite, "Bush Lied", then let them have some fun.

No one except for an idiot is gonna believe them.

Let Brownie jump up and down every time a US soldier is killed. These people destroy their own cause every time they open their mouths.

 
At 4/13/2006 8:59 PM, Blogger nanc said...

fern said,

"Lets get all the idiots together on this one, Ducky and Brownie."

excuse me, fern, but together the two of them MIGHT make ONE good idiot. singular, singular...

 
At 4/13/2006 10:02 PM, Blogger meredith said...

AOW,

talk about the twighlight zone :P oh man this is truley surreal.

 
At 4/13/2006 10:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Wow. Ducky has a point because I'm a "leftist White supremacist airhead"?

Beamish's Hypothesis seems to be holding. It logicslly follows that no leftist has even expressed a rational thought because there are no leftists capable of the feat.

Tanx for playing, LoBrow

 
At 4/13/2006 10:50 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

Who cares if the trucks were for making hydrogen for artillery balloons during a time when all of Iraq's military production facilities were to be disclosed. After all, the "centrifuge tubes" were for long range rockets that Iraq swore they weren't building in excess of UN Security Council mandates.

Help me out Ducky. Has there ever, ever been a leftist that thought bombs were more dangerous than money?

 
At 4/14/2006 7:43 AM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

AoW- Looks like your observation is correct, the symbols invite anybody in! Need a bug bomb?

Happy Easter!

tmw

 
At 4/14/2006 8:00 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Widow,
The Dominion's founder looks like a good candidate for fleas and/or lice. His favorite Broadway musical must be Hair!

 
At 4/14/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

WHIDFYT,
What is most surreal is that the Dominion had a mail drop on Embassy Row. At Dominion's web site are various ways to contact them. Of course, I didn't bother.

 
At 4/14/2006 8:05 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

George Mason,
Here's sort of a reminder, from days long before virtual reality. Britain hired its best magicians to devise a means of protecting Alexandria, Egypt, from Nazi bombers. They did it, too.

I guess that some secrets can be kept, after all. As to our DoD, we don't know what we don't know.

 
At 4/14/2006 3:21 PM, Blogger nanc said...

this could be exactly where bin hiden's laden.

 
At 4/14/2006 7:07 PM, Blogger benning said...

Any SF fan would know the name of Lazarus Long. One of Robert A. Heinlein's most enjoyable characters, Lazarus Long was part of "The Howard Families" who lived very long lives. Lazarus was the longest lived of this group by several centuries.

Takes a greedy idiot to be fooled by these clowns. Sheesh!

 
At 4/15/2006 7:27 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Benning 76,
I'm not a sci-fi fan, but have hear of Robert A. Heinlein, of course.

Thanks for pointing out that Lazarus connection.

 
At 4/18/2006 1:29 AM, Blogger Pilgrim said...

Yep, Lazarus Long's twin sisters (Lapis and Lazuli) work on the unified field theory because they want to find a way for piracy to be profitable over intergalactic distances.

 

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