Archive for the ‘2007’ Category

Ignorance Is Futile:

The McDonaldization of BP. The key to McD’s marketing strategy is to get them when they’re young, and then have life long customers. In 2007 BP decided to follow their lead as we’ll see…

McD’s (“clown food”) isn’t even very good by fast food standards. With the exception of their fries, it can be hard to imagine how much of any of their ‘burgers’ are able to compete with the likes of Burger King, Hardee’s, etc. Yet year after year McClown’s manages to stay #1.

How do they do it? Brand loyalty, installed during youth, via jungle gym playlands that feature space shuttles, emotional gimmickry with “Happy Meals” and toys, a cast of characters seemingly modeled after Sesame Street, kiosk game stations that feature next-gen game system free to play, custom Megatouch machines built into the wall set on freeplay, and so on.

Now as far as I know, hardly ever going into BP, they haven’t gone as far as Megatouch games built into the walls. However, they’ve still opted to market directly to kids in order to gain unwitting lifelong customers. McClown’s does the same, and when the kids grow up many remain faithful customers not even knowing why.

McClown’s is the pinnacle of this sort of Brainwash Marketing, but the fact is BP has taken on that marketing strategy no less.

Perhaps you’re different and pay attention to which company you buy your gas from. BP certainly hopes so: They’re spending about $35 million on this worldwide campaign for their service stations (or “retail network”). BP head of marketing Ann Hand acknowledges that the classic industry research says people choose stations mostly because of location or price, but adds that BP’s tracking studies show some brand awareness does exist. “This campaign is the next step,” she says. “Can we build more brand loyalty? Would you cut across traffic, or go a block out of your way?”…

A few years ago a friend who watches TV told me about the commercials. Sure enough I found them on their website. Later I stopped in a BP anf found their playbook – activity set complete with collectible cards of their cast of cartoon characters.

I asked the attendant about the customer response to the activity set, and as I suspected he said that kids love the playsets and nag parents to stop in at BP. I had forgotten all about it for a long time until recently, and then I remembered that I still have the propaganda activity set.

Marketers plant the seeds of brand recognition in very young children, in the hopes that the seeds will grow into lifetime relationships. According to the Center for a New American Dream, babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots. Brand loyalties can be established as early as age two, and by the time children head off to school most can recognize hundreds of brand logos.

While fast food, toy and clothing companies have been cultivating brand recognition in children for years, adult-oriented businesses such as banks and automakers are now getting in on the act.

Magazines such as Time, Sports Illustrated and People have all launched kid and teen editions—which boast ads for adult related products such as minivans, hotels and airlines.…

Seven-year-old Marley loves Happy Meals from McDonald’s. She used to get Chicken McNuggets, but now she chooses a cheeseburger to go with her fries and Sprite. Her father, Patrick, is a chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America, but Marley prefers McDonald’s to his cooking. After a trip to McDonald’s, Marley eagerly surfs onto, where she can enter a code from her meal to get a “behind-the-scenes look at iCarly,” a kids’ TV show (boys can use their code for a Star Wars promotion).

Patrick pulled the plug on his television a few months ago, in part to shield his two young daughters from advertising, but the McDonald’s marketing execs have reached Marley all the same. Because he’s health- and environmentally-conscious, Patrick does not take her to McDonald’s often, but after a long day of school and extra-curricular activities, sometimes a little nagging is all it takes for Marley to convince her dad that she’s hungry now and only food served at a drive-thru will do.…

“We’re relying on the kid to pester the mom to buy the product, rather than going straight to the mom.” -Barbara A. Martino, Advertising Executive

“Brand marketing must begin with children. Even if a child does not buy the product and will not for many years… the marketing must begin in childhood.” -James McNeal, The Kids Market, 1999…



…there is a dark side to the success story that’s been spreading across the blogosphere. A complex but riveting Big Brother-type conspiracy theory which links Facebook to the CIA and the US Department of Defence.

The CIA is, though, using a Facebook group to recruit staff for its very sexy sounding National Clandestine Service.

Checking out the job ads
does require a Facebook login, so if you haven’t joined the site – or are worried that CIA spooks will start following you home from work -check them out on the agency’s own site.

The story starts once Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had launched, after the dorm room drama that’s led to the current court case.

Facebook’s first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome ‘The Diversity Myth’, he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC.

The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company’s key areas of expertise are in “data mining technologies”.

Breyer also served on the board of R&D firm BBN Technologies, which was one of those companies responsible for the rise of the internet.

Dr Anita Jones joined the firm, which included Gilman Louie. She had also served on the In-Q-Tel’s board, and had been director of Defence Research and Engineering for the US Department of Defence.

She was also an adviser to the Secretary of Defence and overseeing the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is responsible for high-tech, high-end development.

It was when a journalist lifted the lid on the DARPA’s
Information Awareness Office
that the public began to show concern at its information mining projects.

Wikipedia’s IAO page says: “the IAO has the stated mission to gather as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralised location, for easy perusal by the United States government, including (though not limited to) internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, driver’s licenses, utility bills, tax returns, and any other available data.”.

Not surprisingly, the backlash from civil libertarians led to a Congressional investigation into DARPA’s activity, the Information Awareness Office lost its funding.

Now the internet conspiracy theorists are citing Facebook as the IAO’s new mask.

Parts of the IAO’s technology round-up included ‘human network analysis and behaviour model building engines’, which Facebook’s massive volume of neatly-targeted data gathering allows for.

Facebook’s own Terms of use state: “by posting Member Content to any part of the Web site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license to use, copy, perform, display, reformat, translate, excerpt and distribute such information and content and to prepare derivative works of, or incorpoate into other works, such information and content, and to grant and authorise sublicenses of the foregoing.

And in its equally interesting privacy policy: “Facebook may also collect information about you from other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, instant messaging services, and other users of the Facebook service through the operation of the service (eg. photo tags) in order to provide you with more useful information and a more personalised experience. By using Facebook, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States.”

Is the CIA really providing the impetus and the funding behind the monster growth of this year’s biggest dot com success story? Maybe only the men with the nice suits and ear pieces can answer that.

ars technica:

As things currently stand, computers have some pretty severe limitations when it comes to image analysis, as they frequently misidentify the basic components of an image. That leaves humans the undisputed champs at recognizing significant features of photographs. From a military and intelligence perspective, this is a big problem: it’s easy to obtain images, meaning trained image analysts are the big bottlenecks when it comes to intelligence. To avoid this problem, DARPA is working on developing a human/machine hybrid process to speed the screening of image data.

The work takes advantage of the fact that the brain does a lot of work in filtering visual information before making the conscious mind aware of what has been seen. This can take the form of weeding out distractions, generating associations, and identifying features that may be worthy of further attention. All of these process happen even if images are only visible for fractions of a second.

The DARPA program funds Honeywell to work with academic researchers to listen in on the brain’s internal conversation to help filter out those images that aren’t worth detailed analysis. Trained analysts are fitted with electrodes that monitored their brain activity, and then shown stacks of 50 images in rapid succession.

Each image was visible for only 50-100 milliseconds, meaning the analysts could view many thousand images in the span of an hour (details of the work are available on pages 26-36 of this PDF). The researchers found that distinct patterns of electrical activity were apparent starting 250 milliseconds after a target image was visible. Images that trigger this signal can be tagged as meriting more careful analysis.

According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Honeywell is now ready to demonstrate the system, and is already on looking to expand its scope to medical imaging. One thing that’s not been mentioned in this material, however, is how the analysts feel after enduring a 20-minute-long image bombardment.

Bush is a fool? No, he’s playing US as the fools!

By IgnoranceIsntBliss

Everyday you see allegations that Bush is a fool… an idiot… he’s stupid… incompetent and so on. He often appears to be just that, so the assertion isn’t and commonly held belief isn’t without precident.

In truth it’s a mixture of his act, and what lying with virtually every breath he can muster is doing to his brain he when tries to talk. The incompetence that’s become the legacy of his presidency is mostly an act to coverup their true intentions, so they can get away with things like concentration of power, mass murder, neo-imperialism, degradation of of our “rights”, and so on.

Bush: The 10 Year DifferenceSource

Lying comsumes major cognitive “computing” power. Memories are generally like physical embodiments of of networks of “neurons” in the physical structure of the brain. When lying, instead of the subconscious easily conjuring up an embedded memory directly from the “unconscious” brain (where it’s stored / associated) and into the conscious mind and speech, a ‘twirling of the cognitive kaleidoscope’ is required to articulate the lie while crossexamining it with all of the other lies the person has commited on the topic, and any related. The comparison between simply reciting something you know (or think you know) is true, compared to when you have to consciously engage in a lie, is like comparing a matchbox car and a RC truck.

But isn’t Bush just some backwoods good ‘ol boy? No, he’s an ivy leaguer. He might be a chump style cut and run type who likes to do a little partying, but that’s not the issue with Bush today.

The Bush we all know today. LINK

Even if he does resort to drinking from time to time these days, with all of the emotional baggage he’s carrying around from this presidency (even if he didn’t have anything to do with things like allowing 911 to happen as the evidence suggests) he’s still got the best doctors / psychologists / etc. Him being the president surely has him on the best brainboosting nutritional suppliments, mental healtcare, propagandists engineering hsi speeches and staged events, and so on. And we all know Bush is the type to go jogging regularly so it’s not liek he’s a total burnout from whatever partying he does do.

The backwoods good ‘ol boy routine is Bush’s impersonation of how he views American’s, most particularly those he’s trying to have self-identify with him. He’s laughing in our faces. His entire act and his speeches are carefully crafted and groomed by some of the world’s top propagandists, perhaps even the world best propagandists. If you doubt that then you have much to learn about the spectre of politicians and presidents, because virtually every time you see the bigshots the event is staged.

Bush’s cronies playing the same act to avoid the law:

The Daily Show: Bush’s Band of Idiot Geniuses

People say Bush and his administration are stupid. Arrogent is more like it. People allege that “CT’ers” consider Bush and his administration stupid and incompetent in attempts to refute allegations that he/they could have had complucuty in 911. I would tend to think that CT’ers would be inclined to not fall for their incompetence game, as that act is the entire ‘justification’ for how 911 ‘was able’ to happen, and how they could have possibly “skrewed up” so bad taking us into Iraq etc. Instead of Iraq being an idiotic accident, it was a carefully crafted plan that was planned long before Bush became president, and the planners even included his brother Jeb over at PNAC.

Stupidity: The Documentary

There’s a choice documentary specifically about and titled “Stupidity”. In it they study the entire spectrum of stupidity, and the important view they present is how smart people like comedians use stupidity to be successful. The part important for this discussion is the surprise twist ending where they assert that perhaps GWB could be using stupidity to achieve “success”.

Now I wont go as far as calling him a genius, but he’s smarter than many would believe, and then there’s the propagandists behind him.

Brainloop: Functional Advanced Brain Interfacing System

From their website:

Brainloop is an interactive performance platform that utilizes a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system which allows a subject to operate devices merely by imagining specific motor commands. These mentally visualized commands may be seen as the rehearsal of a motor act without the overt motor output; a neural synapse occurs but the actual movement is blocked at the corticospinal level. Motor imagery such as “move left hand”, “move right hand” or “move feet” become non-muscular communication and control signals that convey messages and commands to the external world. In Brainloop, the subject, Markus Rapp, is able – without physically moving – to investigate urban areas and rural landscapes as he globe-trots around virtual Google Earth. Through motor imagery, he selects locations, camera angles and positions and records these image sequences in a virtual world. In the second half of the performance, he plays back the sequence and uses Brainloop to compose a custom soundtrack by selecting and manipulating audio recordings in real time, as sound designer Brane Zorman re-locates them (5.1 surround) into the physical space. The virtual reality environment is stereographically projected allowing the audience to perceive the events in 3D.

This work results from a multi-year collaboration between Slovenian media artists and Austrian scientists. Its author is the Slovenian media artist Davide Grassi, which in the past has been focusing on similar topics realizing the project Brainscore – incorporeal communication together with the artist Darij Kreuh. Responsible for the BCI application is Reinhold Scherer from the BCI-Lab of the TUG.

7. Background of the project

The project Brainloop evolves from the projects Brainscore – Incorporeal communication

Brainscore – incorporeal communication is a performance for two operators, which act in a virtual reality environment through their avatars. This performance attempts to avoid completely physical participation of operators in the management of avatars. The task is achieved by triggering command on a console through a system based on operator’s brain waves signals and an eye movement tracking system. The aim of the performance is to create a controlled flow of information, in terms of audio-visual messages, in order to establish a primitive form of communication between the two performers as well as between them and the audience.


RE: Sony Brings Real Life Matrix A Step Closer

Perceptive Pixel:

By IgnoranceIsntBliss


While it was known that Woolsey was again thumbing Iraq later that day, this new clip is the first time anyone thumbed Iraq on national TV. (In propaganda) “you gotta keep repeating yourself for the truth to sink in”. –GWB

PNAC member and former Director of CIA James Woolsey named Iraq as a suspect of 9/11 at 2:26AM, 9/12/01, just over 2 hours after the day of 9/11.

James Woolsey just so happened to be a signatory in the Letter to President Clinton on Iraq, in 1998, which called for the removal of Saddam from power at that time. He was also one of the signers of another PNAC document, Statement on Post-War Iraq, on March 19, 2003. Woolsey served on the Rumsfeld Commission, and was a Commissioner on the National Commission on Terrorism which delivered the Report of the National Commissionon Terrorism to President Bill Clinton in June 2000.

While he wasn’t a participant in writing of the infamous Rebuilding America’s Defenses document, he was already a member at that time. This document, which was an uber-imperialist’s wet dream wishlist, called for a technological transformation of the military and imperialist domination of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian lands and regimes while highlight states like Iraq and Iran as action item threats.

Pessimism was expressed in the manifesto when they complained that “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Full coverage of Woolsey and PNAC in the Bill Moyer’s film: “Buying the War”.

It’s funny they might say that, because on 9/11 they got just that, including a green light to exploit their Iraqi imperial ambitions. At least 16 memebers of PNAC are or were in the Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and even little brother Jeb Bush. It’s of little surprise that they didn’t ensure that “a new Pearl Harbor” didn’t happen. It’s not like they didn’t have some idea, as according to the 9/11 Commission Report the government had “tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands” of terrorism warnings, yet GWB wasn’t that concerned about terrorism.

Then on the night of 9/11, at 2:26AM, James Woolsey, a frontman stooge of Neo-American Imperialism, was already thumbing Iraq as a suspect sponser state of the 9/11 attacks.

“The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today.” –GWB

In the aftermath, PNAC’s imperislism manifesto ended up reading like a prophecy chart come true, as they got their “New Pearl Harbor”, and their 20 plus point list of technolgical transformation, and their green light for ultra-neoimperialism including the invasion Iraq, and so on.

Today Woolsey can be often seen in the media pounding the war drum and grandstanding for American Imperialism. He is Vice President of Booz Allen & Hamilton, the lead contractor for the Total Information Awareness program. He is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board to the Secretary of Defense. Woolsey attended the September 12-14, 2006, elitist deep-integration North American Union forum entitled the “Continental Prosperity in the New Security Environment”, held in secret at Banff Springs Hotel, in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

See Also:

Woolsey’s PNAC Signatories,_Jr.

From The National Security Archive:

Washington D.C., May 3, 2007 – A Venezuelan employee of Cuban exile and indicted terrorist Luis Posada Carriles conducted surveillance on targets “with a link to Cuba” for potential terrorist attacks throughout the Caribbean region in 1976, including Cubana Aviación flights in and out of Barbados, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive. At least four targets identified in the surveillance report — including the Guyanese Embassy in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad — were subsequently bombed during the bloody summer of anti-Castro violence in 1976, and a Cubana jet was blown up in mid-air on October 6, 1976, after taking off from Seawell airport in Barbados.

Posada faced charges in Venezuela for the airplane bombing, but escaped from prison there in 1985, participated in the White House- and CIA-sponsored Iran-contra covert operations in Central America in the 1980s, and illegally entered the U.S. in March 2005. He is currently free on bail in Miami, albeit under house detention, awaiting trial on immigration fraud next week.

The Archive also posted additional investigative records generated by police authorities in Trinidad following the bombing, including drawings by Posada’s employee, Hernán Ricardo Lozano, and handwritten confessions by a second Venezuelan, Freddy Lugo, that describe how Ricardo molded plastic explosive into a toothpaste tube to destroy the plane, as well as Ricardo’s attempts to reach Posada via telephone after the plane went down.

“These documents provide the true historical backdrop for the legal proceedings against Luis Posada Carriles,” said Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Archive’s Cuba Documentation Project. “They record the unforgettable violence of Posada’s lengthy career as one of the world’s most prolific terrorists.”

The surveillance document, handwritten by Ricardo, recorded the addresses of Cuban embassies, travel offices, news agencies, and consulates in Trinidad, Panama, Barbados and Colombia. It also contained detailed observations about the security systems at those buildings, and even the cars driven by Cuban diplomats. At the Cuban embassy in Bogota, Ricardo noted, “the Ambassador’s vehicle is a 1976 steel grey Cadillac, with a black vinyl roof and diplomatic plates CD-0046.”

Ricardo’s intelligence report identified the office of British West Indian Airways (BWIA) as “the one place with a link to Cuba” in Barbados; on July 14, 1976, the BWIA office in Bridgetown was struck by a bomb. Six weeks later on September 1, the Guyanese Embassy in the capital of Trinidad was also bombed. According to declassified FBI records, the FBI attaché in Caracas who subsequently gave Ricardo a visa to travel to the U.S. noted that Ricardo’s passport showed that he had traveled to Port-of-Spain on August 29 and returned on the day of the bombing “and wondered in view of Ricardo’s association with Luis Posada, if his presence there during that period was coincidence.”

Ricardo was an employee at Posada’s security firm in Caracas, Investigaciones Comerciales y Industriales (ICA). His surveillance report was reportedly found in Posada’s office at ICA when it was searched by Venezuelan police after the bombing of the Cubana plane. (Venezuelan authorities matched the handwriting to notes Ricardo had penned to a girlfriend at that time.) Ricardo and another Venezuelan, Freddy Lugo, were subsequently tried and convicted in Caracas for placing bombs on the flight before they deplaned in Barbados. Posada and another Cuban exile, Orlando Bosch, were also detained in Caracas as the masterminds of the crime. Posada escaped from a Venezuelan jail in September 1985; Bosch was released after twelve years in prison in 1988.

In a confession to deputy police commissioner Dennis Ramdwar on October 19, 1976, Ricardo drew a diagram of the pencil detonator and its various timing positions and explained how “a plastic bomb was detonated.” He also wrote out a list of necessities for blowing up a plane which included “false documentation,” and “explosivo C-4.” On a separate piece of paper, Ricardo drew a crude organizational chart of CORU, the violent anti-Castro exile coalition led by Orlando Bosch which took credit for the terrorist wave of bombings and assassination efforts in the summer of 1976.

Like Posada who illicitly returned to the Miami area in March of 2005, Bosch entered the U.S. illegally in 1988 and was detained at an immigration detention center for over a year. In July 17, 1990, he was freed by the administration of George H.W. Bush, over the objections of Justice Department officials who had determined he remained a threat to the security of U.S. citizens.

In a handwritten and signed confession dated October 21, 1976, Lugo told police authorities in Trinidad that Ricardo had repeatedly tried to call a “Sr. Pan y Agua”-Mr. Bread and Water-in Caracas after the plane went down. “I asked him who Mr. Pan y Agua was because I found it amusing that someone would have that name,” Lugo wrote, “and he told me that it was a dear friend of his named Orlando Bosch.” Lugo also recounted how Ricardo had called his mother and told her “to give the telephone number of the Village Beach Hotel in Barbados to Mr. Luis Posada so that he could call and to tell him that there was a problem.”

In a separate statement dated October 16, Lugo told authorities in Trinidad that before Lugo and Ricardo boarded Cubana Flight 455 in Trinidad, he had seen Ricardo “playing with something that looked like dough of a whitish or beige color; he was softening it. He also had a tube of toothpaste, Colgate, on the table and it was full as if new.”

Bosch has lived freely in the Miami area for seventeen years; in various interviews he has all but admitted a role in the bombing of flight 455. Posada was freed on bail on April 18; he is currently under house arrest in Miami awaiting trial on charges of lying to immigration authorities about how he arrived in the United States. A grand jury in New Jersey is also weighing evidence of Posada’s role in orchestrating a series of hotel bombings in Havana in 1997, using plastic explosives hidden in shampoo bottles and shoes.

Full Report + Documents



Luis Posada Carriles, original Cuban passport

From Democracy NOW!:

The anti-Castro Cuban militant and former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles is set to stand trial in El Paso, Texas later this week. Posada is linked to a series of deadly attacks, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. But in a move decried around the world, Posada will not be standing trial for terrorism. Instead, immigration charges – accused of lying to U.S. authorities when he came into the country two years ago. The Bush administration has refused to extradite Posada to Cuba or Venezuela, saying he would face torture.

There are several new developments in Posada’s case. Authorities have filed documents showing the FBI believes Posada plotted a series of deadly bombings in Cuba in the 1990s. Meanwhile both Posada and the U.S. government are trying to disqualify potentially damaging evidence from his trial. Defense attorneys have filed a motion to omit Posada’s statements from a 2006 interview with immigration officials. For their part, government prosecutors have filed a motion to effectively bar Posada from discussing his ties with the CIA.

Former President George H.W. Bush headed the CIA at the time of the October 1976 bombing of the Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. These developments come as the public-interest documentation center the National Security Archive has released new information further linking Posada to that attack. For more we go to Washington, D.C. where I’m joined by Peter Kornbluh. He is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive where he directs the Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects.

Democracy NOW! Coverage