To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.

Thursday December 9, 1999

WebSkulker Newsletter
Not a creature was skulking, not even with a mouse

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WebSkulker is a card-carrying member

WebSkulker is a card-carrying member of the ACLU.  He received an email from the organization today that he will repeat verbatim here because he doesn't know anything about the topic and has nothing to add, yet feels that this should be brought to the attention of you jr. skulkers.  Here is the text of the ACLU's statement:

Is the secret National Security Agency, working with its counterpart agencies in England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, eavesdropping on private communications from around the world? Credible reports suggest that a global electronic surveillance system -- known by the code name of "ECHELON" -- is indeed capturing satellite, microwave, cellular and fiber-optic communications worldwide.

Over the past few months, the U.S. House of Representatives has been investigating ECHELON and related activities. As part of these investigations, the House Select Committee on Intelligence requested documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) regarding its operating standards for intelligence systems like ECHELON that may intercept communications of Americans. In a surprising move, NSA officials invoked attorney-client privilege and refused to disclose the documents. This action drew the ire of several members of Congress, including the committee's chairman, Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL).


Many observers are calling Congress to conduct further inquiries into the workings of this global surveillance system. You can read more about ECHELON and send a letter to Congress supporting further investigations into its activities from our action alert:

In addition, the ACLU has launched a special website detailing the possible threats of ECHELON and other research on the program. The website can be found at:

Skulk like a Canadian

Jr. Skulker Uncle Brucie and another who prefers to remain anonymous submitted this site, which continually broadcasts 17 commercial television stations over the Internet in RealPlayer format.  In Uncle Brucie's words (slightly edited):

A) You have to lie to them and tell them you are in Canada (unless you really are in Canada).  When they ask for your area code, tell them a Canadian area code, like "705".

B) They only have Eastern Time Zone feeds.  This is not necessarily bad if you are on the West Coast like me and you want to watch, for example, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" three hours early.  Or the Tonight Show at 8:35 pm, even.

C) It uses 80K of bandwidth.  If you have a DSL like me or an ISDN line, it's no problem, but with any analog modem, it would be jerky at best and unwatchable at worst.  Somebody let us know.

D) I am sure the networks will shut 'em down if they can, but since it's not in the US of A, I don't see how.  But it wouldn't surprise me.

E) CBS and FOX have an annoying "hum" that they say will be corrected by December 15.  Why does it hum?  It doesn't know the words.

F) It uses RealPlayer.  I tried it on RealPlayer 6 and it worked fine, but I upgraded to RealPlayer 7 anyway.

G) There is an always-on banner ad below the screen. If they want to rent my eyeballs, let 'em.

Skulking around satellites

Jr. Skulker Batteryman submitted this site whose "aim is to provide you with all the information you need to observe satellites, Mir and the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle, and the dazzlingly bright flares from Iridium satellites."

"Many people don't even realize that satellites can easily be seen with the naked eye. We not only provide the times of visibility, but also detailed star charts showing the satellite's track through the heavens. All our pages, including the graphics, are generated in real-time and customized for your location and time zone."

Skulker in a bottle

This site simulates the effect of writing a note which includes your address, sealing it in a bottle, and tossing it into the sea.  Maybe you will get a response someday from someone across the world where the bottle washed up on shore.  You fill out a form on their web page which includes your email address, press the button to toss it into the virtual sea, and someday maybe you will get email from someone who found your note -- in the sense that this site will pass your note on to some random other user of the site.

Jr. Skulker JennyAnn, who submitted this, submitted a form and was given a match in 4 hours.  This doesn't strike WebSkulker as very realistic.  If they want to simulate a real bottle, they should delay maybe several weeks until you have forgotten all about this, then surprise!

These made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Oat Girl

On Christmas morning a cop on horseback is sitting at a traffic light, and next to him is a kid on his shiny new bike. The cop says to the kid, "Nice bike you got there. Did Santa bring that to you?" The Kid says, "Yeah." 

The cop says, "Well, next year tell Santa to put a tail-light on that bike." The cop then proceeds to issue the kid a $20.00 bicycle safety violation ticket. 

The kid takes the ticket and before he rides off says, "By the way, that's a nice horse you got there. Did Santa bring that to you?" Humoring the kid, the cop says, "Yeah, he sure did." 

The kid says, "Well, next year tell Santa to put the dick underneath the horse, instead of on top."


Submitted by Jr. Skulker Sid Packer 

Politically Correct Santa

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?

His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.

And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."

And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose

And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,

Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.

Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;

Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.

So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth.


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