Pat, your Passport Pal works for the US Department of State under Colin Powell, your (soon to be ex-) Secretary of State Pal, where Pat teaches kids that they are not allowed to go anywhere without government approval.
You see, Pat isn't just a state issued document designed to control and monitor your travels abroad and show the government's ownership of you, he is your Pal. You like carrying him with you. You welcome his presence and wish you could bring him along everywhere -- even when traveling within your own country! People who disapprove of Pat's friends from the government occasionally asking to see Pat as you carry him around your neighborhood are meanies! Why do they hate Pat so?
Much like the infamous infant tactoprogramming tool Pat the Bunny, Pat the passport subliminally invites you touch him, to feel the texture of his faux leatherette cover, to run your fingers along his edge, enjoying the rounded corners of his pages, and, yes, to even pat him gently as he nuzzles inside your coat pocket. You know you want to.
On Pat's corner of the State Department site you can play some fun games with Pat, like guiding him through a maze to the Great Seal, matching flags to countries, or a word find game. (Can you find "PLO"? Hint: it crosses the "plo" in "diplomacy." Maybe Pat's a fan of Equidistant Letter Sequences made famous by the Bible Code.) There's also fun State Department trivia: Did you know that the first Secretary of State to travel outside the US while in office was William H. Seward, who visited the Caribbean in 1866 and met with Danish and Spanish colonial officials and the Presidents of the Dominican Republic and Haiti? Now you do! See how much fun it is to play with Pat?
The December issue of Wired magazine, which is guest edited by a dripping wet James Cameron (the man behind the reverse-psychological propaganda movie called the Terminator), has plundered ZPi for story ideas. On page 046 they have an articlette entitled "When I Grow Up, I Wanna Spy on the Neighbors!" that's about Government propaganda aimed at kids using cute mascots. Sound familiar? Four sites are mentioned, two that I covered (NRO and NSA) and two (FBI and CIA) I didn't because they were too obvious and others have pointed them out in the past.
Mere coincidence, you say? Consider this: Digital hipster central Boing Boing, which includes a number of correspondents who write for Wired, posted a piece about the NRO Jr. site on Aug. 29th. They cite a piece on Joi Ito from the 28th, which in turn cites some Livejournal entry with a cut-n-pasted IM dialog linking to it on the 20th, with no further citations. My piece, which resulted from specifically looking for governmental kids sites, was posted on the 19th.
Clearly something fishy is going on here involving the upper echelons of the fashionable technorati conspiring against my blog by stealing my low-effort shtick. What's in the next issue of Wired? Xeni Jardin presents a series of slapdash artworks of people wearing foil hats? The technology behind the McLuhanator Mark XI? Push Belgium?
Russian president Vladimir Putin isn't the creepy, ex-KGB technocratic spook that you might assume. Oh no! He's actually a nice guy who gets along with children -- and not just because he looks like Dobby from Harry Potter. In fact, he has his very own kids site (in Russian) called Uznay Prezidenta, where Russian kids can learn all about how their government works and what a swell guy Putin is!
The site features three cartoon kid mascots -- bespectacled Dobrinya, adventuresome Ilyusha, and touchy-feely Alenushka -- who ask Putin various questions and learn various fun Putin facts. For instance, did you know that president Putin does not have a right to allow Russia to be conquered and lose its independence and that, as the supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Russia, he is obligated to make the Russian military invincible? Fun and factual!
Here's uncle Putin's fun response (paraphrased from a Babelfish translation, caveat translator) when the kids petition him to extend school vacations as a matter of civil liberties:
Putin: I am glad that you are already ready to defend civil liberties. It is necessary to learn this from childhood. But it is still more important, and this no longer a joke, to understand what is the most important right for you now.
Ilyusha: The right to the vacations!
Putin: No. The main right of a citizen of school age is the right to growth, to study.
There's even a Putin photo album, so kids can see all the fun the president has. Like that time Putin decided to take a break from running the country and go live with the dolphins:
Good times, good times.
The Oregonian has a breezy overview of the Cascadian independence movement that ranges from Ecotopia to the State of Jefferson and all points in between. (It also mentions -- since the author contacted me for an interview -- the modest-but-statistically-notable increase in Cascadia auto sticker sales starting on Nov. 2, which has consequently caused a larger increase in sales since the day the article was published... it's all a vicious circle of profit!)
Anyway, a number of people emailed me recently with Cascadia-related suggestions and questions, which I'll haphazardly address here:
Jason points out that Linus Torvalds now resides in Portland, Cascadia. This means Cascadians are in the position to control both the main closed source (Microsoft Windows) and open source (Linux) operating systems, extending Cascadian influence to most computers on the planet.
Dave, Trina, and others argue that the Bay Area should be annexed along with the coccyx of the Cascade Mountain Range now under Californian occupation. Besides folding Silicon Valley, "a technological-economic power center," into the Cascadian mix, this would give Cascadia control of the Macintosh (as well as the manufacture of Cascadia auto stickers, which are currently being outsourced to San Leandro).
However, most people who advocate Bay Area Liberation underestimate the subtle yet terrifying sway that the Bohemian Grove Cabal has over this enclave. Besides the malleability of the population as a result of the Cabal's persistent, multidecade experiment with mind control on Bay Areaers (a.k.a. Project Aquarius), they could easily repel a Sasquatch Militia attack using their contingent of giant robotic owls.
Before we can even hope to free the peoples of San Francisco and the vicinity from Federalist rule, we need to firmly establish our presence in Cascadian NoCal. Gaining the high ground of the mountains will give Sasquatch Militia boulder throwers an important tactical advantage.
Rob, who has a radio show, thinks that Chicago should become the "Hawaii of Cascadia." While this does suggest the appetizing prospect of deep dish pizza with pineapple (I haven't had breakfast yet), it raises the issue, related to the one above, of how far the Republic of Cascadia should extend.
Over the years, I have gotten emails asking that Idaho, Montana, Alberta, Alaska, the Yukon, and other adjacent territories be allowed to join Cascadia. If we allowed them to join, then of course Wyoming, Saskatchewan, the Dakotas, Nevada, Utah, etc. would all want to join too, which would result in still further territories wanting to join, and so on until everyone in the world is Cascadian. While the prospect of a globally omnipresent Republic of Cascadia may seem a desirable goal to some, I feel it diminishes the main point of the Republic of Cascadia: regional sovereignty. If in fighting far-off Federalist rule, we end up becoming a far-off Federalist ruler, then what was the point?
Of course, the Republic of Cascadia is open to strategic alliances against the NWO with Chicago Free State, Uberdakota, or the Holy Saskatchewan Empire should the peoples of those areas choose to organize themselves as such.
Captain Euro is head of the Twelve Stars Euro Team (also a corporate-governmental mind control organization, although they don't mention that in Captain Euro's animated adventures), whose members are Europa, the archeologist/environmentalist; Erik, the mechanic/test-pilot; Helen, the lithe gymnast; Marcus, the technologist; Lupo, the vole-hunting expert; and sentient computer/hologram Pythagorus 1. They are headquartered in the Atomium Building (a famous Belgian "landmark" that the Conspiracy claims is in Brussels) and seek to unite Europe under the centralized rule of the Belgian-controlled European Union.
They're also keen to encourage everyone to exchange their currency for Euros -- no doubt to get their coin-embedded mind-control circuitry in as many pockets as possible -- and provide a handy currency calculator.
Captain Euro et al. battle a group, known as the Global Touring Circus, that includes four goateed villains; a human cannonball who knows ventriloquism; a fashion model/mistress of disguise; and an evil, rum-drinking parrot. The leader of the GTC, Dr. D. Vider, seeks to foment independent-mindedness in the peoples of Europe and keep them from being under singular Belgium control (hence the puny name). That the GTC is a "travelling company" symbolizes the "evil" of decentralization.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), whose Propaganda Mascots I reported on previously, is in the news amid reports that it is spying on Americans and Cascadians. Well, duh.
According to NGA spokesplanet Terry Firma, geospatial intelligence means "taking all the information there is about a point on the Earth -- above, on, or under the surface -- and putting it together to answer questions about that place." Cold-hearted NGA Americas office director Bert Beaulieu added that "we couldn't care less about individuals and people and companies."
I suspect that this unsurprising news is now being leaked to try and distract from my startling deduction nearly a month ago that the NGA is involved in the opening of a gateway between parallel earths, allowing who knows what manner of dangerous paraterrestrials to enter our dimension. That they would consider a cover story of massive orbital spying on citizens to be less shocking than the real truth only shows how out of control the situation must be.
Hey kids! Would you like to enter the HomeZone with sassy, sax-playing ninth-grader Ginnie Mae and her hip and/or pandering friends DeeDee and Remmick and go on cool, exposition-laden adventures of personal finance, home-ownership, compounded interest, and the only mortgage-backed security that enjoys the full faith and credit of the United States Government? What's that you say? You'd rather watch Yu-Gi-Oh? Well, tough.
Ginnie Mae (whose full name is "Government National Mortgage Association" -- perhaps her parents are really dull hippies,) is obsessed with talking about economic matters. Luckily DeeDee and Remmick enjoy listening to her impromptu lectures on mortgages, and will occasionally interject helpful questions or draw parallels involving Spike the hermit crab (who's presumably Remmick's pet, constantly on the move to bigger and better shells). And of course, we are subtly learning that it's cool to be dependent on the government.
(Mascot manifestations of Ginnie's older sister Fannie Mae and weird uncle Freddie Mac haven't yet been introduced. I'm sure kids everywhere are giddy with anticipation.)
Seattle monorail tracks remain empty months after fire. Note scorch marks on pillars.
It happened again.
On Wednesday, the Las Vegas monorail system was shut down following an incident in which a 60-pound, 20-inch tire flew off a Star-Trek-themed train and crashed into the parking lot of Harrah's Casino. Against all odds, no one was killed, maimed, decapitated, or ended up flattened with cartoonish tire tracks running down their middle.
This is the second time since the opening of Vegas's monorail that monorailular debris has endangered the lives of elderly gamblers, drunks, and prostitutes: a drive shaft fell off a train back in January -- fortunately when they were testing the system, so no one was impaled. In another incident last month, a monorail worker mistakenly opened the doors on the wrong side of the train, exposing passengers to a precipitous and deadly fall. Even the most optimistic monorail apologist must admit that it's only a matter of time until Las Vegas sees mass casualties from their monorail of doom.
But this is all the norm with monorails, which are an inherently dangerous form of transportation. You may remember back in June I reported on the blazing inferno suffered by the monorail in Seattle, which is still closed for repairs. (I have since gone and examined the incident scene myself and can report that fire damage is still visible.) Unlike the safe and efficient Inteli-Tube Pneumatic Transportation System*, monorail systems place dangerous, rickety equipment high over people's heads, surrounded by ample and uncontrollable supplies of combustion-aiding oxygen, all the while hoping that passengers don't accidently step out the wrong side and go splat. How long can monorail proponents continue to gamble with people's lives?
* The ITPTS was developed by Lyle Zapato & ZPi Laboratories.
© 2004-2018 Lyle Zapato & ZPi
unless otherwise noted or implied.