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Lyle Zapato

An Open Letter To The Legislature

Lyle Zapato | 2007-02-15.3100 LMT | Letters | Entertainment | Politics | Crass Commercialism

Dear Washington State Legislature,

I am writing to ask you to approve $100 of Washington State funds to help offset the $250 price of buying me a Nintendo Wii.

Before you decide, consider the positive impact on the local economy of my having a Wii: Not only would the state generate 6.5% sales-tax on every game I purchase (with additional tax revenue of upwards of 2.3% going to county and city tax districts), but a portion of the profits from those games would go to Redmond-based Nintendo of America, which employs over a thousand Washington State citizens. Could you honestly say to the voters that you were acting in the public interest if you turned down a plan that would increase both tax revenue and job opportunities for a mere c-note? I think not.

My request is very reasonable. Most of the purchase cost for the Wii will be covered by me or through other private funding, as will all costs associated with utilities, maintenance, and insuring against flying-controller damage. Please understand that I am not being greedy with this request; I could have pressed for the more lavish option of a Microsoft Xbox 360, which would do even more for the local economy (given the larger portion of profits remaining in the state and the 20% greater tax revenue from games), but would require my asking for more money upfront. Out of fairness to the taxpayers, I am willing to settle for the economically prudent option of a Wii.

While I understand that some short-sighted people will counsel you against diverting public funds to pay for my frivolous amusement, keep in mind that my proposal of $100 is significantly less than the $300 million you are already considering giving to Clay Bennett so he can build a facility in Renton in which to play games -- and not just in absolute terms, as he's asking you to cover three-fifths of his costs (plus another one-fifth from the city of Renton) whereas I'm only asking for two-fifths in total. The numbers do not lie; I am offering a much better deal here.

Furthermore, unlike Bennett I won't be using Washington State taxpayer's money to facilitate the exportation of millions of dollars of personal profits to Oklahoma. In fact, after the state has recouped its $100 -- through a combination of tax revenue from the games I buy and a lowering of public expenses attributable to the unemployment that I will have ameliorated -- I would be contributing to the state's common good at my own personal expense with no profit. Why would you deny the community this philanthropic act?

If you are unable to find $100 in the budget, Seattle has proved the fiscal viability of using eminent domain to forcibly buy land, waiting a few months, then selling it at a profit. I think a few square feet of Ray Allen's front yard should cover my requested funding.

I am reasonable, but my patience has its limits. If you do not act in a timely fashion to grant me the money to buy a Wii, I will be forced by economic conditions to take elsewhere the tax revenue and jobs that my gaming can create. While I can't comment on ongoing negotiations, let me just say that the Emperor of Japan has been very receptive to my proposal for $240 towards a Playstation 3.

Please, do what's best for the people of Washington and gimme $100.

Regards,
Lyle Zapato

Lyle Zapato

An Open Letter To Archie McPhee

Lyle Zapato | 2007-02-01.6270 LMT | Kelviniana | Crass Commercialism | Letters

Dear Mr. McPhee,

Your company, Accoutrements, is well known for its exclusive line of action figures based on famous historical figures, common folk of interest, and proud indigenous hominoids. However, I have noticed one glaring omission in your otherwise well-rounded collection:

Why is there no Lord Kelvin action figure?

Besides developing the science of Thermodynamics, being instrumental to the unification of diverse fields of science under the aegis of Physics, and mapping the way for Relativity and Quantum Mechanics with his identification in 1900 of the two "Nineteenth-Century Clouds" hanging over the field, Lord Kelvin was the Kevin Bacon of Victorian science and technology, playing roles both minor and profound in most important developments of his time.

Consider some of his many claims to fame:

  • Was admitted to university at age 10, published his first mathematical paper at age 16, and was appointed to the chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow at age 22, where he stayed until his death at age 83
  • Was a champion rower in his youth and later in life traveled the seas in his yacht, the Lalla Rookh
  • First person on Earth to have electric lighting installed in his home
  • Headed the commission that chose AC over DC for national power grids
  • Discovered the material property magnetoresistance, the basis for hard drives
  • Had 70 patents, including an inkjet printer in 1867
  • Invented the technology that allowed for transatlantic communication cables and supervised their laying, thereby fathering the global Information Age that we currently live in
  • Coined the terms "thermodynamic" and "chirality"
  • Has a unit of temperature (the Kelvin), a lunar ridge (Promontorium Kelvin), and a refrigerator brand (Kelvinator) named in his honor
  • Incidentally launched the mathematical field of Knot Theory while exploring the idea that atoms are made of swirling vortices of aether -- a full 100 years before String Theorists proposed similar ideas
  • Defended Panspermia, the theory that life on Earth was seeded by "moss-grown fragments from the ruins of another world"
  • Agreed with Tesla that life on Mars was trying to contact Earth via radio signals (UPDATE See: "On the Martians Signalling Earth.")
  • Is buried next to Isaac Newton

As can be plainly seen, it is a great injustice that someone as notable as Lord Kelvin does not yet have his own action figure. I dare say he even deserves a playset!

With December 2007 marking the Centennial of his passing, now would be an excellent time for you to take the lead and rectify this oversight.

Regards,
Lyle Zapato
Humble servant of Lord Kelvin.

Lyle Zapato

I've Heard Of Ambulance Chasers...

Lyle Zapato | 2007-02-01.5630 LMT | Monorail Danger | Crass Commercialism | Letters

...But monorail chasers?

Subject: Website Suggestion

Hello

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We have recently come upon zapatopi.net and we believe that your site's audience will take advntage of the service we provide. That's why we would like to inform you about our site and to propose submitting our link to your web page located at [Monorail Collision Over Seattle]

Our site information is:

URL: http://www.[REDACTED!].com
Title: Auto Accident Lawyer
Description: Find Auto Accident lawyers specializing in auto accident SUV rollovers, roadway lighting hazzards, commercial vehicle accident, DUI AUTO accident, catastrophic auto injury, elderly driver accident, auto seat belts, child auto restraints and more.

We would appreciate it if you could include a link to our site on your web page. Thank you and all the folks at zapatopi.net for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[REDACTED!]

Please note I am only the webmaster of [REDACTED!].com and not a lawyer. We are a marketing company promoting website visibility on the internet. Link exchanging is one way to build site popularity.

{To opt out from future emails, please reply to this message with "unsubscribe" in the subject box.}

Another reason to avoid monorails: they're magnets for sleazy lawyers.

Lyle Zapato

The Tragic Fall Of Emperor Norton I & The Rise Of The Bohemian Grove Cabal

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-27.5020 LMT | Cascadia | Bohemian Grove Cabal | NWO | Politics

Hans Delbruck (Scientist/Saint) asks in the guestbook:

Lyle, now that you've mentioned it in your blog, just what is the legal relationship between Cascadia and Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico? For example, does the Republic of Cascadia intend to bolster the confidence of investors by guarantying payment of imperial bonds issued during the reign of his late majesty?

All legal and diplomatic relationships with Emperor Norton I ended when the true Nortonian Empire ceased to be on January 8, 1880 following Norton's untimely death in the streets while heading to a speaking engagement at the Academy of Science. Since then, his dominions have been taken over by the Bohemian Grove Cabal, which is based in his former Imperial Seat of San Francisco, in the currently disputed territory of NoCal.

While the Republic of Cascadia had a friendly relationship with the United States when it was under the benevolent rule of Norton I, the Republic does not recognize this false continuation of the Nortonian Empire by forces aligned with the New World Order.

These pretenders to the throne, the Bohemian Grove Cabal, began life in 1872 as the Bohemian Club (and still use that name as a front). The Club was originally founded by San Franciscan newspaper men, led by an editorial writer for the Chronicle, who had conspired throughout Norton's reign to misappropriate his authority for their own ends by publishing false decrees and proclamations under his Imperial name.

The Emperor was aware of these imposters and in 1872 issued the following proclamation:

WHEREAS, there is every now and then a street report that the Emperor has received a telegram, or that he has done so and so, and on investigation found to be without foundation or fact;

WHEREAS, we are anxious that there should be no deception, and also that no imposter should make use of our authority;

KNOW, THEREFORE, all whom it may concern that no act is legal unless it has our imperial signature.

But the Bohemian Club's control over the Media was too great and the forgeries continued.

It's no coincidence that after Norton's death in 1880 the Bohemian Club underwent a coup that ousted the local newspaper men and put into power NWO-aligned Industrialists who sought to expand the Club's subversion of Norton's power on a grander scale, engineering the transformation of the local Club into the geopolitical Cabal that it is today. (This was also when they started using the Bohemian Grove compound to conduct their secret rites.)

The Cabal's first official act was to install Emperor-Norton-impersonator James A. Garfield as the US President. Shortly there after, their second official act was to have President Garfield ritually assassinated (possibly their first "Dull Care"), thus symbolically establishing their overthrow of the Nortonian Empire.

There is much suspiciousness surrounding Norton's demise and this shadowy transfer of power. When the Emperor's apartment (which was under the control of Masons) was searched after his death, all trace of his vast wealth was found mysteriously absent. With the expenses of a proper funeral befitting someone of Norton's stature unable to be covered from his unexpectedly bereft estate, the Pacific Club (an older secret society, now known as the Pacific-Union Club, that was involved in the Bohemian coup) conveniently stepped in at the last moment to pay for a coffin and interment in the Masonic Cemetery.

Were they trying to hide something in that rosewood coffin? Could it have been related to the telegram found on Norton's person from Czar Alexander II congratulating Norton on his betrothment to Queen Victoria? If there was the means to detect polonium assassination in 1880, there certainly wasn't a desire to look, and the Emperor's death was quickly ruled "sanguineous apoplexy" by Dr. William A. Douglass, who stole the only supposed evidence for this diagnosis -- Norton's brain -- during the autopsy.

Unfortunately, Emperor Norton's sad fate doesn't end there. It is rumored that, during the 1934 reinterment of Norton's remains, the Cabalists absconded with his bones (much like Yale's Skull & Bones Society -- now a Cabalist youth-recruitment organization -- did with Geronimo's skull) and that his skeleton to this day resides in the Pacific-Union's Flood Mansion clubhouse, propped up in full Imperial regalia at a table in the dining hall where it goes unnoticed among the club's geriatric members.

As to the Imperial Bonds: They're worth more on the collector's market than their stated value, so even if Cascadia were to assume the Imperial debts, it's unlikely that bond owners would wish to part with them.

Lyle Zapato

Book Review: Micronations

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-26.4350 LMT | Cascadia | Politics | Entertainment
Micronations cover

Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations by John Ryan, George Dunford, and Simon Sellars.

(My apologies to the authors for not getting to this sooner, like in time for the Year End Consumer Orgy. Also, book-review-reader beware: I am a very minor subject of this book -- three paragraphs and a flag worth -- and was sent a free copy by the publisher.)

Micronations is a colorful look -- both in the full-color photos and illustrations that appear on nearly every of its 156 pages and in the variety of colorful characters introduced -- at various nations that haven't yet been recognized by those bastards at the UN (not that it's any of their business).

It's about time a travel guide publisher has addressed these overlooked and underappreciated nations. While the unfairly diminutive prefix micro- has caused many to dismiss them as unimportant or even fictional, each and every one stands tall as a testament to the human desire for self determination (and they're all certainly more real than Belgium).

The guide's presentation is a mix of in-depth, 3-to-6-page articles on specific micronations -- going into their histories, personalities, and political intrigues (where applicable), as well as such travel-guide staples as things-to-do, driving directions, shopping and dining options, and accommodations (again, where applicable) -- with shorter boxed texts highlighting broader movements (Cascadian independence, mad Aussies, off-world colonies), topics of interest to micronationals (issuing stamps), and tidbits on micronations/micronationals that either can't sustain a fuller article (but whose presence is none the less welcome) or would require an entire book to do them true justice (Emperor Norton). The writing is light-hearted and entertaining while still being respectful of the subjects.

The micronations are divided into three loose chapters: "Serious Business", which includes those nations with compelling claims of legitimacy within the rules of the Establishment (or, barring that, their own television series); "My Backyard, My Nation", which mostly includes those who have exercised their Natural Right to seceded from their previous governments and plot their own destinies (here you would find Cascadia); and "Grand Dreams", for those nations fighting righteous causes in the face of Establishment opposition.

It's difficult to review a book like this beyond what I've already done since its topic is rather scatter-shot by nature and it can't really be judged on its practical utility as an actual travel guide (how many tourists can fit in Danny Wallace's Lovely apartment anyway?), so I'll just leave you with a smattering of the micronations included to whet your appetite:

  • Sealand, which has gotten a lot of mainstream press in years past (and continues to do so), is of course covered (it's the very first article).
  • The Republic of Molossia, an island nation adrift in a sea of Nevada whose currency is pegged to the price of Pillsbury cookie dough. They recently annexed some wetlands near Mexico.
  • The Principality of Trumania is sort of Cascadia's version of San Marino, located in the Puget Sound on Vashon Island (home of the bicycle-eating tree and the first modern incident involving a UFO and the Men in Black).
  • Whangamomona seceded from New Zealand in 1989 after a dispute over rugby league redistricting. Its most cherished former leader was a goat named Billy (or "Gumboots" to his inner circle of friends) whom some believe was assassinated.
  • The Republic of Kugelmugel consists of a 7.68m diameter wooden sphere covered in zinc-sheet that originally appeared in a vision to artist Edwin Lipburger. Tragically, control of this surface-area-minimizing nation was wrest away from Edwin when it was invaded and annexed by Austria -- if only he had covered it in aluminum!
Lyle Zapato

Two Bad Ideas

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-25.2416 LMT | Aluminum | Entertainment | Monorail Danger

Walter emailed me two bad ideas (not his)...

Brandon Flowers of the RIAA-approved music group The Killers is promoting a bad idea in an upcoming music video:

Dual Headed AFDB

While building an AFDB using a hardhat substrate is a valid, if somewhat harder to hide, method of beanie construction, connecting two of them together with an aluminumized tube that will allow psychotronic energies to be transmitted back and forth between two wearers is strongly unadvised. Yes, it will still protect you from most mind control, but do you really want some strange little Japanese kid piping his thoughts directly into your brain, nullifying your individual brain patterns and turning you both into a two-person hive-mind obsessed with Ultraman and sexual ambiguity? Try again, Brandon.

The next bad idea is from Mass Tram America, Inc. and is called The Highway In The Sky:

Highway in the Sky

They propose taking old Boeing 7x7 fuselages stripped of wings and tail fins, attaching them below monorail tracks hung from suspension cables on towers, and powering the whole system with solar cells and wind turbines. Even by monorail standards this is just daft. What happens when it bursts into flames and the cables melt? At least with traditional above-rail monorails the pedestrians below need only fear flying debris. When this system fails, the whole train will plummet to the ground like a streamlined bomb. And with no control surfaces, there's no way for the monorail captain to steer the flaming mass away from the innocents on the roads over which they propose to build these things. Try again, Mass Tram America, Inc. (perhaps by putting the repurposed fuselages safely inside tubes).

Lyle Zapato

GPM #21: ISA Space Kids

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-24.3160 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | 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.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #20: Woodsy Owl

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-16.9690 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Bohemian Grove Cabal

One of my lesser nemesises, hipster enclave Boing Boing, has uncovered some extremely disturbing information about USDA Forest Service's long-time propaganda mascot, Woodsy Owl. Boing Boingers can only flail incomprehensibly at the significance of their discovery, so allow me to explain...

The Forest Service recently (more or less) decided to change Woodsy's appearance (no, no gender bending this time). The classic Woodsy, first introduced in 1970 and seen here in costume form:

Classic Woodsy Owl

is now fitter and has been given shoes, a shirt, and a new slogan ("lend a hand; care for the land!" replacing the classic "give a hoot; don't pollute!" -- pollution now apparently deemed acceptable):

New Woodsy Owl

Ostensibly this change was to promote healthier lifestyles by encouraging kids to shed those extra, face-puckering pounds and avoid the dangers of deer ticks and foot fungus when traipsing through the woods.

Be that as it may, the shocking part comes on the US Government's Symbols.gov website (sorry symbologists, no revelations about the Pyramid Eye here, mostly just licensing information): According to a page containing directives on "Destroying Old Woodsy Owl Costumes", those in possession of these costumes are ordered to burn them "beyond recognition" under the watchful eye of a Forest Service law enforcement officer!

Why would the Forest Service call for such a drastic way of disposing of these costumes? To understand what's really going on here, one must be familiar with the symbology and rituals of the Bohemian Grove Cabal -- a sinister sylvan symposium of the New World's elite and powerful, who plot in secret to control government, industry, and society from a 2700-acre "campground" hidden in the redwood forests 70 miles from San Francisco in occupied Southern Cascadia. (For more on the Cabal's past activities, see the Bohemian Grove Action Network.)

The Cabalists' logo is an owl:

Bohemian Grove Cabal logo

This owl motif plays a part in one of the Cabal's most important rituals: the "Cremation of Care" -- which is the symbolic destruction of "Dull Care", or the worldly concerns that the powerful Cabalists feel burdened by. In this ritual, a mock (or so they claim) human sacrifice is burned under the watchful eyes of a giant concrete owl effigy/idol -- whose booming voice is provided by none other than Walter Cronkite -- while cloaked participants, including such notables as Henry Kissinger, the Bushes, Alan Greenspan, and compliant Simulacrum Arnold Schwarzenegger, gather around chanting:

Cremation of Care (Source Sonoma County Free Press)

The USDA Forest Service is, of course, an arm of the Cabal-riddled US Government, and many if not most Forest Service agents themselves have Bohemian connections -- there being a natural affinity between a forest-based paramilitary organization and a forest-based shadow government. Besides overseeing the forests around the Grove, their agents have been known to openly act on the Cabal's behest to repel interlopers. Therefore, it is obvious that the choice in 1970 of an owl as the Service's official propaganda mascot was an homage to their benefactors and that the "Cremation of Woodsy" ritual described on Symbols.gov is part of an initiation rite for junior Cabalists.

LAST MILLIDAY UPDATE: I should probably have noted that it's no coincidence that the abbreviation for "new Woodsy Owl" just so happens to be "NWO", thus explaining the symbology of burning the old Woodsy Owl: destroying the "dull cares" of the old World Order so they may be replaced by the New World Order.

Lyle Zapato

Kelviniversary

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-12.6550 LMT | Announcement | Kelviniana

Another reason to celebrate...

2007 is the Centenary Year of Lord Kelvin becoming One with Entropy.

The University of Glasgow, where Lord Kelvin both taught and learned for over 70 years (he was accepted at the age of ten, holding the record for the youngest college student ever until recently, and never left -- quickly working his way up to Professor and eventually Chancellor, all the while professing that he remained a student), is planning to celebrate Lord Kelvin's life and contributions to Mankind (details on page 6 of the UG News Review [1.25 Mio PDF]). Observances there include (and included -- sorry, a bit late with this post):

  • The St. Mungo Lecture, which is a "celebration of the history, culture, humanity and passion which distinguishes Glasgow and its citizens", launched the Kelvin Centenary Year on January 9th.
  • In April, a series of talks by distinguished scientists taking a modern look at Kelvin's work.
  • Kelvin Honorary Degrees awarded on the University's Commemoration Day in June.
  • A one-day meeting to celebrate his achievements some time in autumn.
  • And in closing in December, a one-man performance by science promoter Johnny Ball in honor of Lord Kelvin.

If you can't make it to Glasgow, read Lord Kelvin's statements on the 50th anniversary of his professorship for some insight into what he might say were he there to join in the celebrations.

Lyle Zapato

Alumiversary

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-05.8905 LMT | Announcement | Site | Aluminum

How in the world did I not know this (worse yet, why did I have to learn it from Katie Couric):

The traditional symbolic gift for a ten year anniversary is...

ALUMINUM!

So, forget what I said about 2007 being The Anniversary. From here on it shall be known as The Alumiversary! (or The Alumiversiary for our British friends.)

Of course, True Paranoids celebrate every day as if it were an alumiversary. Shine on, you crazy corundums.