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Lyle Zapato

GPM Update: Crypto Cat

Lyle Zapato | 2006-02-06.5556 LMT

The very first Government Propaganda Mascot reported here was the NSA's Crypto Cat. Well, their site underwent a major revision at some point and Crypto Cat was reassigned... sexually.

Crypto Cat

Once a manly cat sporting regulation NSA trench coat and fedora, Crypto Cat is now a perky female in a tight, midriff-baring sweater. Also, her fur has gone from blue to white -- probably a side-effect of hormone treatments.

When she was a he, Crypto Cat would handle all aspects of NSA operations on his own. Now a she, her only responsibility is code creation, the various remaining intelligence sectors having been delegated to six other characters, collectively known as the CryptoKids:

  • Decipher Dog: cryptanalyst quarterback, with man-bag.
  • Joules: squirrel engineer, with pet chihuahua named Socket.
  • Slate: rabbit mathematician. (Do you see what they did there?)
  • T. Top: totally KEWL computer science turtle, with soul patch.
  • Rosetta "Rosie" Stone: homeschooled language analyst vixen.
  • Y. R. Tap: domestic spying fly, with Congressional approval.

(You can't see the last one on the site, but he can see you.)

There's also a military bald eagle called CSS Sam. Sam's bio is classified, but presumably he's in charge of defending DVDs from terrorists. He also heads up Operation Dit Dah (a Morse code game).

As with the site's pre-op incarnation, Crypto Cat encourages kids to use totally insecure forms of cryptography such as simple substitution and shift ciphers. No free 256-bit public key crypto downloads for CryptoKids. As far as the NSA is concerned, if you want the good stuff you'll have to enlist: "How can I work for NSA?" Don't worry kid, you probably already do.

So, why the sex change? Most likely they just wanted to make their site more appealing to a broad range of kids, which would explain the new cast of characters with their calculatedly balanced sex ratio and excessively detailed cover stories (seriously, do we really need to know that one year Joules won second place in a sand castle building contest? I can see telling us about first place, but second?) Then again, maybe it's a subtle dig at their FBI rivals.

UPDATE: Read the cartoonic adventures of Y. R. Tap...

Lyle Zapato

GPM #17: Homeland Security Cougars

Lyle Zapato | 2006-02-06.2980 LMT

Are you Ready Kids?

The US Department of Homeland Security wants you to secure the homeland with the help of a family of mountain lions who teach preparedness for the unexpected.

Rex

You are about to meet a family of mountain lions that are prepared for any situation. Rex the dad is an explorer who loves taking his family on adventures. Purrcilla is the energetic and wise mom. And Rory is the strong-willed daughter who loves helping her parents plan for the family's many adventures.

There's also Hector, Rex's speedy, begoggled hummingbird buddy. Hector delivers important security communiques between the forest and the office of DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, who, if he were an anthropomorphic mountain lion, would look something like this:

Mountain Chertoff

When not attending CougarCon and creeping out the normals, Rex and family like to engage in preparedness activities such as: Making a kit, making a plan, knowing facts ("In 1280, 'earthquakes' were called 'eorthequakynge'."), and crouching with flashlights while gazing romantically into the distance. After learning these crucial aspects of preparedness, children are invited to take a quiz. If successfully completed, they receive a diploma from Readiness U -- equivalent to a BS in Homeland Security.

Sure, all this preparedness is useful for securing the homeland, but why mountain lions? Simple: if there's one animal you can trust with homeland security, it's the mountain lion. Well, except that one mountain lion that threatened Jack Bauer's daughter on that one episode of 24. But that was probably a Manchurian cougar sent by Serbians. Kim wasn't prepared for the unexpected, e.g. brainwashed mountain lions, and it nearly cost her her life. Are you prepared?

Come to think of it, mountain lions seem to have a lot of aliases: cougar, puma, American lion, Mexican lion, Florida panther, painter, silver lion, brown tiger, deer tiger, ghost cat, sneak cat, king cat, catamount, mountain screamer, Indian devil, purple feather, Felis concolor... awfully suspicious behavior for a cat. Instead of trusting them to instruct children in preparedness preparation, shouldn't they be on some sort of watch list?

Lyle Zapato

GPM #16: The Smurfs

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-10.8210 LMT | NWO | Belgian Conspiracy

The Belgian Federal Government calls Smurfs "typically Belgian". Do I even need to say more?

I have already lightly covered their role as propaganda mascots for the Belgian Conspiracy on the "Truth about Belgium" page (and I believe a guest blogger mentioned them too). Their Saturday morning antics were designed to promote certain socio-political themes that stem from their Communist leanings, including the loyal following of charismatic leadership (Wikipedia has an article on Smurf Communism, although the Wikikommissars have targeted it for deletion -- read it while you can!)

The centralized authority inherent in the Communist system is useful for the Belgium Conspiracy, who seek to make themselves the virtual seat of the NWO Government, so it's no wonder that they would want to promote it among children, even if in an abstracted form.

Now Smurfy propaganda has taken a disturbing new turn, as reported by Daily Telegraph:

The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes.

...

Belgian television viewers were given a preview of the 25-second film earlier this week, when it was shown on the main evening news. The reactions ranged from approval to shock and, in the case of small children who saw the episode by accident, wailing terror.

...

The short film pulls no punches. It opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand-in-hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song. Bluebirds flutter past and rabbits gambol around their familiar village of mushroom-shaped houses until, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky.

Tiny Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched and tattered Baby Smurf sobbing inconsolably, surrounded by prone Smurfs.

The cartoon was produced by the Belgian branch of UNICEF, a United Nations organization. Of course, the people mentioned in the article -- written by David Rennie, who claims to be "in" Brussels -- weren't actually watching televisions but rather were having the shocking images transmitted directly into their brains while they lie deluded in their Belgian Citizen Pods under Euro-Disneyland.

It's no coincidence that this comes near Halloween, as the NWO has been long running a campaign to get kids to "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" (i.e. collect psychotronic-circuitry-laden coins from citizens' home in order to retrieve the brainwave patterns recorded on them for subversive thought analysis). The timing makes the cartoon's message obvious: Kids, gather pennies for us or we'll bomb your favorite cartoon characters back to the stone age. By first indoctrinating kids into the virtual commune of Smurf Village, the Belgian Conspiracy can now use the threat of violently taking the commune away to get them to do the dirty work of its NWO colleagues.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #15: Professor Polar Bear

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-16.4630 LMT | Black Helicopters
Professor Polar Bear

Professor Polar Bear lives just north of Barrow, Alaska. A rather bookish fellow, he learned all he could about the environment from an Eskimo tribe (instead of trying to eat them). The Professor saw a troubling trend:

Recently Professor Polar Bear has become concerned about melting ice and the warming environment. Professor Polar Bear brought this warming problem to the attention of some new friends he met while feeding one day.

(Feeding on whom, one wonders...) These new friends were members of the US Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program, for whom the Professor now works as an expert on global warming, weather, radiation, and pointing at things. There he joins fellow GPMs Teacher Turtle and PI Prairie Dog in the ARM Study Hall. (In introducing PI Prairie Dog, a "principal investigator for the ARM Program", the site oddly notes that members of his species were once found living in a colony the size of Belgium.)

So what exactly does ARM do? They claim they work under the DOE monitoring the atmosphere to study global climate changes using such sinister looking equipment as this:

SKYRAD

ARM is also involved in the study of aerosols and their effects on the atmosphere. However they aren't just conducting passive measurements. As uncovered by special ops agents of the Georgia Militia, ARM is working with the DOE's Atmospheric Science Program to use unmanned aerospace vehicles to study the nucleating properties of aerosol sprays. In other words: They are creating chemtrails.

Much like a polar bear in nerd's clothing, ARM's seemingly innocent studies are actually a cover for potential Eskimo-endangering destruction. Unfortunately, their activities raise more questions than we have answers for at this time: Could it be that they are conducting an advanced black helicopter breeding program on the North Slope of Alaska? Why are spruce beetles mysteriously drawn to the area? Are they in league with HAARP to control the weather? And what was the real reason that US Senators John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Barrow, Alaska last month for a helicopter ride?

Lyle Zapato

GPM #14: Hug A Tree & Jerry The Moose

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-14.6470 LMT

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (aka the Mounties) have a suggestion for kids lost in the forest:

Hug-a-Tree and Survive!

The tree GPM on their logo doesn't have a name that I can find, but he does have a strategically placed maple leaf... which the kids seem to be reaching for... which he seems a little too happy about...

OK. I think the Mounties are hinting at who, or rather what, they turn to to ease the loneliness of stoically riding around the vast Canadian wilderness all day. Moving quickly along...

If hugging a tree is too creepy, Jerry the Moose (from the North Cascadian prefecture of British Columbia's Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection,) has an alternate suggestion:


Make yourself BIG when lost!

Searchers will easily spot you if you're taller than the tree tops, so find a clearing and will yourself to grow. You can do it!

If however you're one of those few abnormal kids who are always picked on by their peers since they lack rapid-grow abilities, remember to bring along an orange garbage bag and a whistle. When lost, put the bag over your head and while away the time waiting to be rescued by pretending to be a whistling orange ghost (just be sure to put a hole in the bag to breathe or you'll end up an actual ghost).

Lyle Zapato

GPM #13: Deoxys

Lyle Zapato | 2005-03-06.3100 LMT
Deoxys

Originally created as an experiment in overly aggressive psyoptic mind control aimed at children, Pokémon has since evolved into an all-embracing lifestyle for it's many fans. So it should come as no surprise that a Government agency has tapped into the power of Pokémon to condition young minds.

NASA has teamed with Nintendo of America Inc. to create an in-school program that will introduce K-6 students of North America to a new GPM called Deoxys, a space-virus type Pokémon that teaches children about extraterrestrial illnesses that can mutated into collectable fighting buddies when exposed to lasers.

Besides being part of a larger ploy by the Pokémon Company to replace all biology classes with Pokémonology studies -- thereby conditioning future generations to accept, and desire to purchase as pets, the genetically engineered lifeforms being developed on a small island off the coast of Sakhalin which Pokémon are based on -- the program synergizes with NASA's gradual revelation of the existence of Paraterrestrials to society, as well as their mandate to monitor the activities of citizens from orbit.

According to the press release, the program includes "awareness bracelets." They would like you to think that these are to promote awareness of space-virus-related issues among kids, but in fact they're designed to provide them awareness of your child's every movement. The bracelets are a replacement for the school "identification badges" (actually RFID tracking devices) that were found to not yet be acceptable to the public in a trial program earlier this year. The Deoxys program lets them reissue the same technology under the cover of Pokémania paraphernalia. (It's no coincidence that NASA is planning to relaunch its shuttle program shortly after the introduction of Deoxys materials into schools, as they need to attach a Pokémon bracelet detection unit to the ISS.)

Lyle Zapato

GPM #12: Dr. E, Mysterious Monkey Scientist

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-12.6950 LMT
Dr. E

Most GPMs are, well, rather lame and obvious (yeah, I'm talking about you, Billabill). But then there's Dr. E.

Dr. E, notorious G.P.M. for the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division (did I mention they're involved with energy?), is one enigmatically cool simian scientist. Whether typing on his solar computer; pondering the controls on the geothermal boiler; attacking an engine with a stalk of corn; or making sweet, sweet love to a turbine prop, Dr. E exudes a style that none of his peers can match. And yet, instead of being the engaging character he should be, there's an odd detachment to him.

Very little information is given about Dr. E. We gather that his outdoor "Energy Lab" is hidden on some tropical island where he works alone on his many energy projects, trying to generate power from what natural resources he can come by. Does he work for the D.o.E.? Is he held captive by them? Are they forcing him to develop energy technologies so radically alternative that only a monkey brain can control them? We don't know since Dr. E doesn't have much to say for himself, apart from entreating us to help him "protect the earth" -- from whom or what we are never precisely told.

After inviting us to look around his lab and giving short, perfunctory overviews of various alternative energy sources, he's quick to usher us off to someone else's site. "These sites will tell you more," he snaps, before going back into the jungle to watch the giant monitor array, leaving us to wonder why we were ever invited to his Energy Lab and just what he is hiding.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #11: The Terrible Secret Of State

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-03.6100 LMT
Mayor Anthony Williams

Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and his friends, anti-segregationist Mary Church Terrell and 1920's baseball pitcher Walter "Big Train" Johnson, welcome you to Kids' Capital! Kids, be sure to click the shield on the top of the screen to learn the terrible secret of what lurks beneath the U.S. Capitol Building. Perhaps it is waiting FOR YOU!


BONUS GPM #11.5: POMBO FOR KIDS

Richard Pombo

This doesn't really fit with the normal GPM thesis, as it doesn't involve a unique mascot pushing a discernable agenda, but U.S. Congressman Richard Pombo (daguerreotype to the right) of the 11th Congressional District of California has created a kids page on his Government-allotted website so godawful that it deserves attention.

The actual content of the page isn't noteworthy or unusual -- mostly some "fun" "facts" about Congress, a few simple games, and links to other Government kids sites. However, this banality is turned into a sublime crime against all that is decent by the gratuitous use of stolen animated GIFs (including a dancing hillbilly critter band), embedded WAVs ripped from the Hampster Dance page and the incidental music from The Brady Bunch, and other examples of blatant copyright infringement and/or bad taste. To top it off, he includes one of those Javascript elastic mouse-trail things that are popular on GPM sites, only his seems specially engineered to trigger seizures. The only thing the site's missing is a voice in the background continuously saying "Welcome to POMBO!!!"

Lyle Zapato

GPM #10: Kidd Safety

Lyle Zapato | 2005-01-31.5530 LMT

The Further Adventures of Kidd Safety from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). I'll let Kidd introduce himself:

'Kidd Safety'

Hey everyone! I'm Kidd Safety! I know what you're thinking... oh my goodness, he's a goatboy! Yeah... it's kinda cool.

I'm 11 years old and live in Goatlahoma. Don't try to find it on a map. It is in the middle of nowheresville. I'm on my school soccer team - and I love to yell "SCORE" after a goal.

I love sports, but I'm no dope. I know how to play it safe. I always wear my safety gear before I play so I don't get hurt. My mom is such a nag about that, but I know she is right. I want to avoid getting hurt and having to go to the veterinarian.

Since you're here, stop by my safety house. After you visit my house, take a spin with the safety club. Take a look at my trophy, and for an extra surprise, check out the "K" on my shirt. Woo Hoo!

[Audio version here.]

Oh my goodness, he's a goatboy! But hey, don't worry about that. In fact, it's kinda cool. Wouldn't you like to be a human/goat chimera too? When you get sick, you get to go to the veterinarian, which is much cheaper than those uncool human doctors. Think of the health care savings! Woo Hoo!

They may have been created in a secret lab in Goatlahoma, Nowheresville -- don't bother looking; much like Area 51, it's kept off the maps -- but human/goat chimeras are no dopes. They know how to play it safe by wearing Government approved helmets, not those homemade aluminum things. Remember: Wear the helmet flat atop your head so the sensors can properly read your brain waves.

Of course, being a goatboy isn't all fun and games. You still have to go to school and listen to your nagging mother. Plus you have to monitor playground surface conditions for the Government and let agents of Industry harvest spider silk from your udders. But that's a small price to pay to be as cool as Kidd Safety.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #9: Broadband The FCC Cat

Lyle Zapato | 2004-11-29.9870 LMT | Letters | NWO

Broadband the FCC fat cat

Broadband is a cat who works for the US Federal Communications Commission (under Michael K. Powell, your FCC pal... wait, that was last week) at the FCC Kids Zone. Broadband teaches kids all about electronic communications and why the FCC has authority over all of them.

This communicatory omnipotence is conveyed by having Broadband explain about all sorts of things that you wouldn't normally associate with the FCC and its original mandate. For instance: How to safely unplug a USB device. Kids will learn that whenever they have questions about any form of electronic communication -- be it TV, cellphones, VoIP, email, floppy disks -- that they should turn to the FCC for guidance and governance.

Most deviously, Broadband's appearance -- a fat cat -- subtly conditions kids to find Big Media fat cats, whom the FCC are in cahoots with, cute and cuddly, thereby producing a generation of obedient IP consumers who will happily and unquestioningly accept ever more consolidation of ownership of media outlets. In addition, having a cat wear a striped FCC sweater (along with intermittent "wardrobe malfunction" witch hunts staged with the help of said fat cats) furthers the FCC's agenda to indoctrinate a fear of toppal nudity in the youth of North America in order to sell more RFID-tagged shirts, which of course need FCC approval to be sold, thereby extending the FCC's reach into your dresser drawers.

Oh, and you can email Broadband too! Here's what I wrote him:

Hi Broadband! You're my second favorite Federal government agency cat mascot after the NSA's Crypto Cat!

Why do you suffer from disfiguring facial twitches? Is your "GO" collar causing harmful electromagnetic interference? I would think you would have made sure it was in compliance with FCC rules before purchasing it.

What is Michael K. Powell like to work for? Does he give you generous holiday bonuses? Does he let you attend Council on Foreign Relations meetings? Can you get me his autograph?

Why aren't you wearing any pants? Isn't that indecent?

Thanks!

Your pal,
Lyle

I'll update if he writes me back.

About This Topic:

In 1997 during the Clinton administration, all US government agencies were instructed via policy memo to develop educational websites for kids. The various mascots the agencies came up with were at turns inane and creepy, the latter especially when the agency in question is involved with shady activities. We at ZPi have labeled these creations Government Propaganda Mascots (GPM), many of which are documented here, as well as some from other governments and international organizations.

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