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Lyle Zapato

NSA Acknowledged Existence of Y.R. Tap

Lyle Zapato | 2014-06-10.8350 LMT | Art

In 2006, I posted about the then-new CryptoKids, official propaganda mascots of the NSA. I pointed out that there was an unshown member of the CryptoKid team that the NSA refused to acknowledge: Y.R. Tap, the domestic spying fly, whose extortionist adventures I imagined in a series of web comics. But, it turns out that the NSA did show Tap, albeit through a semi-official channel.

The National Cryptologic Museum, which has close ties to the NSA (although operated via a non-profit org out of a former motel two blocks from NSA HQ), publishes a bulletin for donating members called The Link. In the Winter 2005-2006 issue (PDF), they had an article on the CryptoKids (page 15). Notice who's creeping about in the lower right:

National Cryptologic Museum's 'The Link', vol. 8, num. 4, pg. 15

Of course they don't acknowledge him in the text -- no one likes Y.R. Tap! -- but he is there. Watching. Always watching.

(That image is the first panel of my Y.R. Tap Comic #3. The page is dated "Fall 2005" but obviously it was made sometime after May 2006. I don't know if whoever put it there did so intentionally as a joke or if they just Googled "CryptoKids" and thought my site was an official organ of the NSA... It's not, by the way.)

UPDATE: ...and they've since removed the PDF. It was probably a mistake that they made the back issues freely available since they weren't linked to on the public site. I only found it by accident doing a Google image search on a Y.R. Tap panel. I just did another search to see if I could find it again and instead found this amusing appropriation in a PDF of an ESL quiz from a university in Brazil:

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Lyle Zapato

GPM #25: NRO's Earth Encompassing Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2013-12-10.6010 LMT | Cephalopods | NWO

NROL-39

The Internet is atwitter over the National Reconnaissance Office's logo for their newest spy satellite, NROL-39 (as tweeted by the Office for the Director of National Intelligence).

Given all the coverage in the increasingly paranoid mainstream media, my posting about this feels superfluous at this point, but also expected, since it's both a GPM and ties into my current theme of menacing cephalopods. So for the few of my readers who haven't seen it, there it is.

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Lyle Zapato

Y.R. Tap Comic #9

Lyle Zapato | 2013-06-06.1268 LMT | Art | Politics
Lyle Zapato

Y.R. Tap Comic #8

Lyle Zapato | 2010-10-21.5245 LMT | Art | Politics
Lyle Zapato

GPM #24: Your Fellow Soldiers, Black Helicopters

Lyle Zapato | 2010-07-13.7750 LMT | Black Helicopters | Simulacra

Comics With Problems -- a site dedicated to comic books tackling serious problems, usually poorly -- has uncovered an official US Army training comic from 2001 titled "Dignity & Respect: A Training Guide On Homosexual Conduct Policy". It's ostensibly about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but the back cover is where the true propagandistic purpose of the book is revealed:

Heads of diverse soldiers... and miniature Black Helicopters

The modern, diverse US military, made of men and women of all colors and creeds... and miniature Black Helicopters?!

By off-handedly inserting them into this display of soldier unity in diversity, the Army was clearly trying to normalize acceptance of miniature Black Helicopters among the ranks. Deviously, they put this at the end of an otherwise unrelated comic that stresses respecting the dignity of fellow soldiers, causing a subconscious transference of all the social-conformity training from that story onto the subject of Black Helicopters without having to acknowledge they were doing so -- which would have only caused soldiers to ask such existential questions as: Why are there small, nanobiotechnological lifeforms flying around the barracks demanding respect?

When introducing shocking new realities to the uninitiated, it's best to just put it out there and pretend like there's nothing out of the ordinary going on. Most people will be too embarrassed to admit they see something everyone else doesn't and will keep quiet. And for those few who do ask questions, it always helps to have "Just shut up and stop asking questions!" as an official, enforceable policy. Is PFC Choppy a miniature Black Helicopter or is he really just short, hyperactive, and not very talkative? Don't ask! Mind your own business and just respect him as a fellow soldier!

Even more troubling though is the lower part of the image which shows that miniaturization of Simulacra android technology is more advanced than previously thought. If those mesosoldiers were common in the Army nine years ago, how long until the NWO starts introducing microscopic Ken Schrams into our food supply?

Or have they already?!

Lyle Zapato

Y.R. Tap Comic #7

Lyle Zapato | 2008-10-24.6160 LMT | Art | Politics
Radical Sasquatch

HOWL: SASQUATCH "OLYMPICS" MASCOT!!!

Radical Sasquatch | 2007-11-30.0740 LMT | Sasquatch Issues | Cascadia | Crass Commercialism

The biannual Human physical feats gathering called "WINTER OLYMPICS" is being held in CASCADIA in the Human nesting grounds of VANCOUVER in the year 2010 H.C.!!!

As I have heard howl, in these "OLYMPICS" the Humans perform meager physical feats -- such as STRAPPING STICKS on their small feet and SLIDING DOWN SNOW -- for the amusement of other Humans. They then give themselves SHINY BAUBLES as rewards for SLIDING THE FASTEST!!! Humans who get the most SHINY BAUBLES go on to entertain Human cubs by sliding around on ice pretending to be DISNEY CHARACTERS!!! The Humans who don't get the most are SHUNNED BY THEIR PACK and forced to live in obscurity on the outskirts of Human society for the rest of their short lives -- typically MUCH LESS than 100 YEARS!!!

(There is also a quadrennial "SUMMER OLYMPICS" where they RUN and JUMP and THROW SHARP TWIGS AND VERY TINY BOULDERS VERY SHORT DISTANCES!!! These "OLYMPICS" are NOT named after the mountain range where I live, which is also called "OLYMPICS" in Human squeak -- HUMAN SQUEAK-RANGE IS VERY LIMITED SO THEY NEED TO REUSE NAMES ALL THE TIME!!!)

ANYWAY, the "OLYMPICS" Humans recently announced the three mascots for their little gathering, one of which is a Sasquatch named QUATCHI!!!

Quatchi

Quatchi is a young sasquatch who comes from the mysterious forests of Canada. Quatchi is shy, but loves to explore new places and meet new friends. Although Quatchi loves all winter sports, he's especially fond of hockey*. He dreams of becoming a world-famous goalie.

Because of his large size, he can be a little clumsy. But no one can question his passion. He knows that if he works hard and always does his best, he might one day achieve his dream. Quatchi is always encouraging his friends to join him on journeys across Canada. He is also often recruiting others to play hockey -- or at least to take shots at him!

(*"HOCKEY" is yet another Human activity that involves sliding around on frozen water! WHAT IS THE HUMANS' OBSESSION WITH SLIDING!?! And why would a young Sasquatch be interested in such a thing instead of STOMPER!?!)

I'm sure the Humans thought they were being VERY NICE to Cascadia's Hominoid community by making their mascot a Sasquatch, even if his interests are INAUTHENTIC!!! BUT, there is one major problem:

SASQUATCH ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN "OLYMPICS"!!!

NOT THAT WE FEEL WE ARE MISSING OUT!!! We are not as obsessed with SLIDING or SHINY BAUBLES as Humans are! But using us as mascots while you DISCRIMINATE AGAINST US is UNACCEPTABLE!!!

Just like with SQUATCH -- the Human in a Sasquatch costume who is the mascot for the Human handball team "SUPER SONACKS" -- QUATCHI is a PROPAGANDA MASCOT that promotes the ANTI-HOMINOID AGENDA under a THIN PRETENSE of friendly Human-Sasquatch relations!

Besides his unnatural interest in a Human SLIDING GAME, they describe QUATCHI as "CLUMSY" because of his NORMAL SASQUATCH SIZE -- this is PROPAGANDA to make Humans feel better about their puniness! Also note how QUATCHI recruits Humans to "TAKE SHOTS AT HIM" -- this is PROPAGANDA to encourage Humans to believe that Sasquatch actually ENJOY BEING SHOT WITH GUNS!!! (For the record, WE DON'T... It STINGS!!!) I don't think it's a coincidence that one of the physical feats the Humans perform -- called "BIATHLON"!!! -- involves SLIDING along the forest snow and SHOOTING A TARGET; it is PRACTICE FOR HUNTING SASQUATCH!!!

HUMANS OF THE "OLYMPICS", HEAR MY HOWL: Either stop using this PROPAGANDISTIC mascot OR let Sasquatch participate in your physical feats gathering as fellow Cascadians! We will even consent to SLIDING, if that will make you feel LESS THREATENED!!!

Lyle Zapato

GPM #23: Elisa Correr, MEP

Lyle Zapato | 2007-07-31.9800 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy

Elisa Correr is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) -- or rather, she's a propagandistic cartoon version of what the European Union would like people to think MEPs are like.

Correr's adventures are detailed in a comic titled Operation Red Dragon, published online by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). The comic is just one part of a £3.8 billion brainwashing campaign by the EU to inculcate themselves into the hearts and minds of Europeans.

By using her diplomatic street-smarts, barely robed sexuality, and knowledge of parliamentary procedures, the globe-trotting Rapporteur for the Parliamentary Committee on International Trade navigates the murky channels of international intrigue to uncover the schemes of Shao, the corrupt Governer General of the autonomous province of Sin Kiang in the People's Republic of Dong Fang (which is not China, wink wink), and deliver her findings to Parliament in the form of the Correr Report, much to the chagrin of the shadowy forces aligned against her.

Panels from page 6 of Operation Red Dragon
While on a diplomatic mission to Dong Fang, Correr discovers
Tony Liang hiding in her hotel closet. The plot thickens!

"Stalwart liberal" Correr is aided in her investigation by Tony Liang, journalist and amateur voyeur, who has taken photos -- that will soon land him in one of Shao's secret prisons -- of Shao's men receiving crates marked with the logo of the powerful and generically named European Arms Consortium, who have been peddling influence in Parliament to secure a WTO agreement to lift the arms embargo against Dong Fang (whose government is making token concessions to Western counterfeiting and piracy concerns,) thereby allowing the Consortium and Shao free rein to engage in illicit arms dealing.

Panel from page 7 of Operation Red Dragon
Elisa Correr's faith in EU embargoing power is tested.

After undergoing the indignities of an illegal police search and a media smear campaign, receiving thinly veiled death threats, and barely surviving a knife-attack on a train and strangulation by a disguised ninja, Correr finally convinces the Parliament of her report's veracity. Still nursing her knife wound, she gives an impassioned speech advocating Truth, Justice, and the European Union way during a plenary session of Parliament. Pointedly ignoring an MEP likening her story to a "plot of a trashy novel" (this is known as "credulity inoculation" in memetic engineering circles), she finally unleashes, to the applause of the assembled MEPs, a deft parliamentary procedure:

I request that the vote be deferred and that my report be sent to the Parliamentary Committee until further details of the Council's proposal are known.

What follows is a Montage of Wrongs Righted: the head of the Consortium is arrested, Shao's forces are rounded up, and Liang is freed. Having thus saved the day, Elisa Correr is posed the question: Does she have great courage to hold Dong Fang and 27 member states in check? No, not courage; just a few principles -- the principles of the EU which are defended by those selfless Liberal Democratic heroes of the European Parliament!

But are these EU principles what they seem? As every informed paranoid knows, the European Union -- which claims to be headquartered in Brussels -- is actually an elaborate ruse by the Belgian Conspiracy to get Europeans -- and, as Dong Fang learned, eventually everyone else -- to cede their independence to Belgian dominion. The adventures of Elisa Correr certainly aid this pro-Belgian agenda by making the life of an MEP seem as exciting and glamorous as a Hercule Poirot mystery and Tin Tin story combined. The name of the comic is even designed to evoke Belgian superiority; "Operation Red Dragon" was the code-name of a supposed daring rescue by a Belgian parachute battalion of hostages being held by Congolese secessionists in 1964, obviously making an analogy between those secessionists and anyone who would secede from the EU.

This, of course, isn't the first propaganda mascot that the EU wing of the Conspiracy has tried to foist on Europeans; in 2004 I reported on Captain Euro, head of the Twelve Stars Euro Team that, from their secret base under the Atomium in Brussels, works to squash the plans of various goateed villains advocating independence and decentralization.

(Via Bulldada Newsblog.)

Lyle Zapato

GPM #22: Yucca Mountain Johnny

Lyle Zapato | 2007-06-26.0940 LMT | Politics
Yucca Mountain Johnny

Yucca Mountain Johnny is a blue-collar worker at the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository project in Nevada. At his "Yucca Mountain Youth Zone", Johnny just wants to teach the youths about nuclear physics, hydrology, and engineering, while dispelling myths about the repository (such as the nuclear waste could explode or that the facility is really a military base for the NWO's fungoid allies).

But now the mean, ol' Congress wants to silence Yucca Mountain Johnny:

A measure by Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., to cut off funding for the Energy Department's Yucca Mountain Youth Zone Web site that's home to the smiling, hard-hatted cartoon character was approved by lawmakers by a voice vote and without debate.

...

"Regardless of how you feel about Yucca Mountain, we should all agree that the Department of Energy's use of a Joe Camel look-alike to influence children is an inappropriate use of taxpayer money," [Berkley] wrote [in a letter to colleagues].

Could this move portend trouble for the hundreds of other Propaganda Mascots serving the US Government? Thanks to a 1997 mandate by President Clinton, nearly every US government agency's website has a kids' section, many with "Joe Camel look-alikes" influencing children in various ways. Are they all in jeopardy of becoming pawns in political fights?

Will Congress investigate the Crypto Kids for their role in domestic spying? Will hip-hopping health-advocate Power Panther be forced to resign when it's revealed he took part in illegal covert counterintelligence programs aimed at black nationalists during the '70s? Will secretive monkey energy scientist Dr. E be subpoenaed before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and forced to explain exactly what he is doing with taxpayer money on his mysterious island? And just how will parents explain to their little children why Pat, their passport pal, can no longer be their pal since he's serving thirty months in a federal prison for leaking state secrets? Is this the beginning of the end of innocence for government propaganda aimed at children?

There's still hope for Yucca Mountain Johnny. Berkley's amendment has to make it past the Senate and President Bush, who, as a big Bob the Builder fan, is expected to veto. But if the veto is overridden and Yucca Mountain Johnny looses his cushy government job, he -- and other future ousted GPMs -- will be forced to find propaganda work in the private sector. Perhaps there's a car loan company in the market for a construction worker mascot who knows a lot about long-term thermal-hydrological-mechanical transport of radionuclides in fractured volcanic tuffs with varying degrees of welding.

(Via Bulldada Newsblog.)

Lyle Zapato

GPM #21: ISA Space Kids

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-24.3160 LMT | Technology | Politics

You may not be familiar with the Iranian Space Agency (ISA). They haven't yet launched anything into space themselves (perhaps because the President of Iran is more interested in wasting resources on dangerous transportation boondoggles). However, they do have one reconnaissance satellite, the Sinah-1, launched in 2005 by the Russians and capable of imaging the Middle East at 3-meter resolution (sample images can be seen on their site). They have plans for two more satellites and hope to one day launch satellites themselves using their Shahab family of vehicles (more, more, and more). (They also have a space tourist, but not everyone in the government is happy about that.)

In the mean time, not to be outdone by their American counterparts at the NRO and the NGA, the ISA has their own* kids' propaganda site called Space Kids (or rather, the URL is called that; the actual title is in Persian, as is everything else inside):

Space Kids

The presumably titular Space Kids appear in a series of excessively large Flash cartoons that tell the story of two little Teletubbyesque paraterrestrials who visit two Iranian children -- apparently drawn by Margaret Keane during her monobrows-and-arthropodic-hairstyle phase -- and take them on a flying saucer trip to tour the Solar System and learn fun facts about the planets. (Note: Persian is read right-to-left, so the icon on the top right is the first episode.)

There's lots of talking in these 'toons -- seriously, they spend over two millidays on the roof of the human kids' house wistfully discussing the stars and looking at the paraterrestrials psychically project images of telescopes and Space Shuttles before they ever get off the planet -- and since it's all in Persian, I don't know if any of it is interesting.

While the first episode is on Earth, the second takes place on the Moon, where they levitate amidst wafting Moon Smog as they talk talk talk talk. Then an alarm goes off, they evaporate, reappear in the flying saucer, and begin their loquacious interplanetary tour.

Episode 12

I didn't watch the following episodes since they're so large and apparently each one just gives facts about each planet in turn (in Persian). I did watch the last (twelfth) episode though, which starts with something about satellites and space stations around Earth then has some trippy images of what first seems to be a nuclear explosion that scares one of the kids, but turns out to be just a volcano (I believe this is a bit of propaganda to emphasize the Iranian government's stated position that their satellite program is purely for the peaceful monitoring of natural disasters; but then again, it's all in Persian, so for all I know they could be threatening to unleash volcanoes on their enemies via satellite nukes).

At the very end, in a pointless twist that would make Jennifer Lynch proud, we learn it was all a dream. Great! But then the beginning makes no sense.

As is obvious to anyone paranoid enough to know what's going on, this lengthy propaganda of Iranian-paraterrestrial friendship is really meant to curry favor with paraterrestrial forces observing our planet and her Internetting. Perhaps Ahmadinejad hopes this treacly display of Iranian innocence will encourage some overly sentimental faction of the paraterrestrials to foolishly give Iran advanced monorail technology with which to threaten the world.

*(I'm not actually sure if Space Kids is directly produced by the Iranian government or by some private organization -- there's another section on the Space Kids site with ungovernmental-looking stuff like a message board, foreign news articles, and an additional propaganda mascot with an unwholesome attraction to the Moon -- but considering that it's prominently linked to at the top of the ISA site and has more substantive content than anything else there, at the very least there's a conspiracy between them.)

UPDATE (2007-04-18): I've been contacted by someone associated with the Space Kids site with some clarifying details: The site was designed, with ISA sponsorship, by a private organization called the Farda Institute, which works on public understanding of science and technology. They also have another kids' site (in Persian) called (in English) Nano Club, which teaches kids about nanotechnology and includes a series of comics about a character who buys an indestructible Bucky tube and later gets shrunken down and rides a red blood cell like a raft after visiting the Nano Club site (so take care when clicking that link). Since the site's in Persian, I have no idea what their stance is on the nanobiotechnological menace of Black Helicopters.