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Lyle Zapato

GPM #8: Pat, Your Passport Pal

Lyle Zapato | 2004-11-22.8000 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots

Pat, your Passport Pal

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?

Lyle Zapato

Wired Magazine Spying On ZPi

Lyle Zapato | 2004-11-22.7270 LMT | General Paranoia | Site

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?

UPDATE: here's the online version of the Wired article.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #7: President Putin's Pals

Lyle Zapato | 2004-11-17.8550 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Nature

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:

Putin and dolphins

Good times, good times.

Lyle Zapato

Cascadian Independence Fomentations

Lyle Zapato | 2004-11-15.2550 LMT | Cascadia | Politics | NWO | Bohemian Grove Cabal

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.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #6: Captain Euro

Lyle Zapato | 2004-10-06.7900 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Belgian Conspiracy | NWO

Many of you are probably wondering, "Does the Belgian Conspiracy engage in propagandistic mascottery in Europe?" Indeed it does! Case in point: Captain Euro.

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.

Lyle Zapato

NGA Is Watching

Lyle Zapato | 2004-09-27.5700 LMT | General Paranoia | NWO

Terry & Co-conspirators
Terry Firma & Wanda World, NGA propaganda mascots.

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.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #5: Ginnie Mae

Lyle Zapato | 2004-09-21.3900 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots

Ginnie Mae & Hangers On
DeeDee, Ginnie Mae, and Remmick.

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.)

Lyle Zapato

An Interview

Lyle Zapato | 2004-09-08.9890 LMT | Crass Commercialism | Site

For all you Lyle Zapato aficionados and stalkers out there, you can read a rare interview of me on Absolute Write, which contains scant new insights and something lazily copied out of the guestbook.

Lyle Zapato

Las Vegas Monorail Rains Tirey Death From Above

Lyle Zapato | 2004-09-03.4040 LMT | Monorail Danger

Monorail tracks
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.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #4: California's Bill, A Bill

Lyle Zapato | 2004-09-02.4260 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | NWO | Simulacra

Not all propaganda comes from the national level. For instance, the California State Assembly presents a kids game called Your Idea Becomes A Law, the premise of which is:

In California anyone of any age may suggest an idea for a new state Law. Maybe your ideas could make good state laws.

That's right, kids. We need more laws! After all, what good is government if it doesn't do lots of governing? And what better way to govern than to have endless rules and regulations that dictate our every behavior? California, in particular, is so desperate for ideas for new laws that they want you to send your suggestions, no matter how wacky they may be.

Bill, a bill

The propaganda here is nowhere near as sophisticated as it is on the Federal level and looks like it was thrown together by an Assembly intern. However, there are a few mascots for us to consider. First there's Assembly Member Grizwald "Grizz" LeBear, who, unfortunately, is not a bear, but rather a generic clipart business person. He hears your suggested law, thinks it's an excellent idea (no matter what you suggest), and introduces it as a bill. The next mascot we meet is Bill, a bill, who is even more crudely drawn than named. Later on he dons a cape and gains flying powers, but it's less exciting than it sounds. Next comes two Assembly Committees (choose at random -- it doesn't matter if they are unrelated to your proposed law), both of whom are represented by the same photo circa the 1980s. Following in short order is the Assembly itself, also apparently unchanged since the Deukmejian administration. (Game cheat: you need 41 votes in the Assembly to pass.) Next stop, The Senate (not pictured -- I sense bad blood with the Assembly).

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Finally, the last mascot we meet is the most effective cartoon here: the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger (whose picture is oddly 3D -- just watch his jaw follow you). As some of you know, Schwarzenegger is a Simulacrum -- a humanoid cyborg created by NWO Imagineers to replace troublesome humans and serve as propaganda delivery platforms in movies and newscasts. He is perhaps their most sophisticated animatronic creation and represents their concept of the ubermensch. (The Belgian Conspiracy within the NWO had been pushing the Liberati leadership to use their knock-off cyborg, Jean-Claude Van Damme, instead, but apparently they didn't have enough clout.) They have been grooming Schwarzenegger for use in a political context since the '80s while conditioning the public to accept him. Note how he is famous for playing an android, thereby cleverly defusing any attempt to reveal his true Simulacrumatic nature. Also note how his Terminator character started out as evil, but then became a hero and father figure, a classic bait-and-switch tactic designed to condition us to accept and even welcome Simulacrum governance. Now that he has been installed as Governor of California -- conveniently near the major Imagineer service center in Anaheim, should he or his wife (actually a refurbished Schwarzenegger prototype adopted by the Kennedys) suffer malfunctions -- they can employ him in propaganda such as this game, confident in the knowledge that children of any age will trust any bill this lovable killing machine signs into law.

So, back to the game. Will your bill survive this gauntlet of officials designed protect the public interest by weeding out the bad laws? Yes, it will... because every bill you suggest in this game becomes law. You see, the message here is that it doesn't matter what the law is; as long as it gives the government some excuse to govern you, it's "good state law."