Do not fear the lack of knowledge, fear false knowledge. All evil in this world comes from false knowledge. - Leo Tolstoy


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Stuck Here In The Middle With You

"If a president is willing to lie about the most basic governmental and political facts, civic debate becomes impossible, and the public becomes incapable of informed judgment. Because of the great weight that any president's words have with the public, the president of the United States must not be a liar. " - Tony (Actions Speak Louder Than Words) Blankley

by Balz

Do you understand the significance of the above title? If not, spend some time here reading the script:

Allow me to translate. I have NO intention of paying attention to an administration defined by the following keywords: Felon, Traitor, Corrupt, Dishonest, Evil. Nor, will I serve their appointed "Ministers of Satan" or the EVIL currently running our country. Only a demonic government would attempt to control the spread of TRUTH or arrest me for passing a link, photo, etc. Jesus was about PEACE and LOVE, Blank is Beautiful, and Ministers of Satan*, SUCK MY CHENEY! *

Ministers of Satan Redux

President, USA Exile Govt. wrote:
> Meanwhile, I want to say I think the most relevant point you've made recently is that activists in general don't know how to deal with false religion--especially in the form of a fascist or diabolical power play. I hope you have time to elaborate for us somewhat on this.

Dear Pine,

OK, since you asked, and although you recently circulated a piece that basically covered this, I'll try, and this time it starts with a conversation we had in our old back living room, in the city, during 1974.

We were talking about 1776-1976 and some of the 'events' we were planning on doing, and I said to you, "One of the things I am afraid of is, 'the powers that be' will use the Christian Right's (the same folks who are Fundogelicals today) concept of Revelations as a SCRIPT."

For support and source for this observation, I mentioned what I saw when I (grin) infiltrated the "Wallace for President" rally at the Cow Palace years earlier and some of the data I had collected for Nobody, showing there was an increase in the number of votes within the Fundogelical community.

I said the increase in votes was interesting (20% (iirc)) because the major voting Christian population at that time was Catholic (52% (iirc))

(iirc) The major voting Christian population for 2004 was Fundogelical, at around 50%...and they have replaced the Catholics as the leading voters. Oh, and somewhere on one of Dahbud's pages it covers how these folks can get out one million "replies" (fax, telephone, email, snail mail) in 24 hours and asks activists if they have their 'stuff' together in order to be able to do the same thing.

The following is a corrected version of the original article and it should be noted I got most of this information from Dahbud's and Balzac's pages (links on the sides)

The Alito Divide and Conquer Diversion

Did you know Alito hates protestors, supports the rape of male prisoners, and believes women are second rate citizens when it comes to THEIR bodies? Check out his background with ROTC at Princeton and some of his decisions, but that is not what is odd. What is odd is, why Fundamentalists and Evangelicals support him. Here's a little background one can look up for themselves.

According to the old scrolls, Jesus was a pacifist and anyone bearing arms, working for the police, or military was not allowed to become a Christian; unless they gave up killing and harming, and this was the Christian foundation.

When the Roman Emperor Constantine had his dream and became a Christian, less than 1/2 of 1% of the population was Christian.

Knowing there is "power in numbers", Constantine bribed Rabbis to change the 'Holy Day' from Saturday to Sunday because 99+% of the population were Pagan and celebrated their 'Holy Day" on SUNday and since one of the larger industries at that time was idol making, he also got the Rabbis to sanction 'Saints', which only involved slight modifications of statues.

After completing these tasks Constantine told 'the population' they had the 'availability' to join his new Christian church, and here is where the oddity begins.

To the best of my research, a majority of those who held to the pacifist foundation of Jesus's teachings were the extensions of what are now known as Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, and when they did not join Constantine's church, they became fodder for the 'games', where they were fed to the lions. etc.

Because of this, history, and for as long as I remember; at least until Falwell and Robertson ran for President, Evangelicals and Fundamentalists have hated Rome and the Catholic Church. On top of that, I have personal experience as a child, knowing they also hated Jews because, in their warped minds "Jews killed Jesus", when in fact, it was actually Romans.

Have you ever heard that sometimes people become what they hate? In my opinion, this is what happened to "Fundogelicals" between the late 1800s and the early 1900s when they became what is known in the Bible as, "Ministers of Satan".

There is no "Rapture" mentioned in the old scrolls. It was manufactured by "Ministers of Satan" so that 'when the time came' there would be apathy rather than action.

Fundogelicals believe they will ascend naked into Heaven and will be allowed to watch the destruction of humanity and that, no matter how one 'plays it', is not Christian. Pat Robertson even went as far as saying those who are Protestant, Catholic, Jews, Buddhist, etc. serve the Antichrist.

If one accepts Pat Robertson is actually a Minister of Satan, then it is easy to understand why THEY hate, call for the blowing-up of the Supreme Court (which to our knowledge has never been checked out by Homeland Security or the FBI, but yet THEY will put a Cowboy in jail for telling a joke about a chickenhawk pResident in a bar (look it up)) or the assassination of heads of government; while supporting somebody like Charles Taylor and Al Qaeda.

A lot of activists can not handle the reality 87% of the people in the United States are Christian, which is part of their Christian "evolutionary environmental conditioning" and that Fundogelical bullies (very much like pResident) are using their 20th century slant on religion as a control tool against the greater population.

In simple terms activists do not know how to deal with false religion (at least the ones I have met) and it is my opinion activists really need to learn how to play on the same field and I would suggest doing it from a research point of view.

I've spent a lot of time looking into this 'stuff' and everything that is stated by Fundogelical reality on the Antichrist, points back to THEM and OUR CURRENT STATE OF GOVERNMENT. May I also remind you these are the same folks who burned witches, had one "drawn and quartered" for saying the earth was round, and hung or beheaded anyone who said the earth revolved around the sun; a.k.a., ??? the "Intelligent Design" folks. One question I have is, who/what would this sound like:

In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist is a person or other entity that is the embodiment of evil, and utterly opposed to truth. In the New Testament, the word "antichrist" is used only in 1 John and 2 John, where it generally describes any false teacher or false prophet or corrupter of the Christian faith, but sometimes also seems to indicate a specific person or a single spirit of deception that motivates false teaching, and whose presence is a sign of the end times.

The Antichrist is variously understood as being a consummately evil system of government or leader, a false religion or religious leader that sets up its own worship in place of the worship of Christ, the incarnation of Satan, a son of Satan, or a human being under the liege of Satan. The English word, Antichrist, is anglicized from the Greek, and literally means instead of Christ.

The only two books in the Bible that literally use the term, antichrist, are 1 John: "Who is the liar". This is understood to mean that the antichrist will be a leader who deceives many people. The thing about the anti-christ that will set him apart from other leaders is that many nations will recognize that he is evil, but his own people will be inclined to believe his deceptions. This is believed to be because the people who follow him will lose the ability to discern between the truth and the lie. This is the antichrist, he who denies Truth." (1 John 2:22 ESV; see also 2:18, 4:3, 1:7) and 2 John 1:7.

Matthew 24 warns of "false Christs" in several places, and of deceivers who would appear falsely claiming to be the returned Christ. (Matt. 24:5, 24)

The antichrist will divide the world and create war without end. He will lie to God, or declare obvious or God-given truths to be lies. Also this is interpreted to mean he will declare that things which are evil to be good. He will refer to war as peace, death as a solution for justice, and serving the wealthy as a means of helping the poor.

Christian denominations disagree on what will happen in the end times, and the role that Satan and the Antichrist will play. Among those who expect the Antichrist to arise in the future, there is a general consensus that sometime prior to the expected return of Jesus, there will be a period of "trials and tribulations" during which the Antichrist, inspired by Satan, will attempt to win supporters, and will silence anyone or make enemies of any country who refuses to approve of him. This metaphor written as ("receive his mark"). [All Above Obtained at Wikipedia which has links]

Hummm... "Divide the world and create war without end, He will lie"; I wonder who that sounds like?

Back to the control of the Supreme Court, what I do not understand, and what I am to assume, starting with a 'wrap-up'.

The Fundogelicals, who I believe are the true "Ministers of Satan", all of a sudden support Sharon and Alito. With Alito the common ground is abortion and with Sharon, it was preventing the Palestinian people from blowing the Fundogelical trip by pushing the Jews into the sea, which would have proved, in advance, their 'adjusted teachings' were wrong and when one considers all the money involved with Broadcasting, sending all those missionaries to Africa, and in Pat Robertson's case, supporting Al Qaeda through Charles Taylor, one will understand there 'is a lot invested'.

(btw) There is no historical reference to any so-called Christian prediction having ever occurred since the time of Jesus and (fwiw) Jesus never asked for the "root of all evil" (money) like televangelists do, and that should be a big clue; however the Bible suggests those who serve the Antichrist cannot see the EVIL they serve.

(otoh) They know Abortion is the great dividing tool used to keep US 'inline', by getting us to fight one another and there is something sinister about that when one knows there is a group of very wealthy people who would like to reduce the earth's population by 80%.

There is something in the old scrolls Jews, Muslims, and Christians could agree on and it might be time to look more closely at what was said:

"If that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it." Jeremiah 18:8

(imo) If an activist does not choose to do the research, my next best advice would be to learn the following verse:

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." Matt 6:24 (KJV)

and know this:

George W. Bush Never Said Publicly, "Jesus Christ Is MY Lord"; he replaces MY with the, and when given several public forums, where he [Temporary = GWB S&B name] could have denounced his demonic affiliation with Skull & Bones, he confirms his hypocrisy by saying "It's so secret we can't talk about it."

Russert: You were both [Kerry & Bush] in Skull and Bones, the secret society.

President Bush: It's so secret we can't talk about it.

Russert: What does that mean for America? The conspiracy theorists are going to go wild.

President Bush: I'm sure they are. I don’t know. I haven't seen Web pages yet. (Laughs)

'My heritage is part of who I am' -

TIME: But you sure shared a lot of the same upbringing: Andover, Yale, even Skull and Bones. Did you have any qualms, say, about joining an elite secret club like Bones?

Bush: No qualms at all. I was honored. I was fairly nonchalant. I didn't view it as a great heritage thing. I didn't take it all that seriously.

TIME: Demystify it a bit for those who might think it's a cross between a Masonic Lodge and the Trilateral Commission. Did your father show up for your initiation, like your grandfather showed up for his?

Bush: Without revealing all the great secrets? I got a few of my old club mates who could demystify it right off the bat. My dad didn't tap me. Someone a year ahead of me tapped me. There was an entry celebration. I can't remember whether my dad showed up or not. I don't think so.

This is one of many examples proving Bush, his Administration, Neocons, and anybody supporting them, support evil... and I have a gut feeling once people understand this, (that 86 plus percent Christian population) things will start to change for the good.

Interested in reading more? Try here for starters:

Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin
or Lose SGLI Death Benefits

By Nathaniel R. Helms

Two deploying soldiers and a concerned mother reported Friday afternoon that the U.S. Army appears to be singling out soldiers who have purchased Pinnacle's Dragon Skin Body Armor for special treatment. The soldiers, who are currently staging for combat operations from a secret location, reported that their commander told them if they were wearing Pinnacle Dragon Skin and were killed their beneficiaries might not receive the death benefits from their $400,000 SGLI life insurance policies. The soldiers were ordered to leave their privately purchased body armor at home or face the possibility of both losing their life insurance benefit and facing disciplinary action. [Continue reading at: Soldiers for the Truth]

Ministers of Satan Love Hate-groups

Speaking of Ministers of Satan, look at what popped up on Google news a few moments ago, in the "Windy City Times"

Measures to Limit Funeral Protests Pushed
by Andrew Davis

Illinois Lieutenant Gov. Pat Quinn and State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-118th, proposed the “Let Them Rest in Peace Act”–legislation to limit inflammatory protests within 300 feet of all Illinois funeral services–which was filed in the Illinois General Assembly last week.

The act is a response to a series of hate-group disruptions at funeral services for Illinois military personnel in the past year, according to a press release from Quinn’s office. The anti-gay protests have been led primarily by Rev. Fred Phelps ( no relation to the state congressman ) and his congregation from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Rep. Phelps felt compelled to sponsor the measure after witnessing the conduct of a hate group at the funeral of Army Spc. Brian Romines in Anna, Illinois, one of the communities in his district.

The act applies to all funerals and memorial services in the state. The legislation creates a 300-foot zone of privacy between picketers and funeral sites. Disruptive and inflammatory protest would be banned a half-hour before a funeral, during a funeral, and a half-hour after the funeral within the 300-foot buffer zone.

Meanwhile, Indiana has already put the wheels in motion towards passing a similar measure. On Jan. 10, a state Senate committee endorsed a bill that would make disorderly conduct a felony offense if it occurs within 500 feet of a funeral or memorial service, according to an item on The measure now goes to the full Senate.

The legislative development occurred the same day that a small contingent from Rev. Phelps’ church protested the funeral of Jonathan Pfender, an Evansville soldier killed in Iraq. Republican state Senator Brent Steele says he filed the bill in response to a similar protest in August.

Where Did The Information Go?

Sorry, that information contained links that were used without permission and was deemed annoying by red states of denial.

Rather than annoy, lets talk about another aspect of short attention span and oops, no permission for the link. Ut Oh, "Ignore Alien Orders" got me:

Web users judge sites in the blink of an eye
Potential readers can make snap decisions in just 50 milliseconds.
by Michael Hopkin

Yes, it is true, I am acting like a Cheney just to emphasize a point and here is how FlyingSnail will operate for a while.

WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). Things will change and there will not be an archive.

If one is interested in what is going on here, one will need to check in daily.

Most Information will be maintained for 24 hours and removed.

This site was originally intended to showcase art and remained that way until mid 1999.

There are many great BLOGS (links on right), political sites (imo = far better than here), and instant news.

This site is headed back to art, with good stuff in the wings and important information will be on the tree.

Gothic Public Service Announcement


Q. Mr. Bush, What does HMO stand for?

A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye.

Q. Mr. Bush, I just joined an HMO. How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?

A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your insurer will provide you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. The doctors basically fall into two categories: those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan. But don't worry, the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half-day's drive away and a diploma from a third world country.

Q. Mr. Bush, Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?

A. No. Only those you need.

Q. Mr. Bush, Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?

A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.

Q. Mr. Bush, What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?

A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.

Q. Mr. Bush, My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand. I tried the generic medication, but it gave me a stomach ache. What should I do?

A. Poke yourself in the eye.

Q. Mr. Bush, What if I'm away from home and I get sick?

A. You really shouldn't do that.

Q. Mr. Bush, I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle my problem. Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant right in his/her office?

A. Hard to say, but considering that all you're risking is the $20 co-payment, there's no harm in giving it a shot.

Q. Mr. Bush, Will health care be different in the next century?

A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

Solutions for Problems
Introduction - Quakers Are Terrorists
by Balz

The Supreme Court 'appointed one' has stated he was only spying on U.S. citizens who had links with (sic) 'Al Ky Duh' and conversing with them.

If we are to believe this, and if you are like me and remember domestic spying aired on Corporate media starting with a Quaker ((imo) GOOD CHRISTIANS) group being spied on in Florida; then we are also to believe, according to his words, Quakers are terrorists.

However, giving him the greatest benefit of doubt and understanding we are dealing with an ex alcoholic who has never dealt with the root cause of his alcoholism and who sometimes displays a displaced sense of awareness, he may have associated the word Qaeda with Quaker, because they both begin with Q.

Setting illegal domestic spying aside, who has not heard, "If you are not a part of the solution, you must be part of the problem."?

Based on that phrase it is obvious United States citizens have become the 'major' part of the problem due to denial and that problem, left unchallenged, will destroy democracy as we have known it, and, more than likely, destroy the planet.

It has been mentioned here United States tax payers fork out 1.77 billion dollars a day on national debt interest since the illegal, undeclared war, in Iraq.

An un harnessed Senate and Congress keep driving US deeper in national debt, because 'they' will not have to deal with 'it' when 'they', according to insurance company statistics will be dead in twenty years, and does anybody care? By the way, did you know your dollars support a sniper school in Israel? Ask Jack Abramoff.

Since 2000 we have seen a decline in freedoms our country was established on, but few people associate with the terrorist campaign led against Native Americans or the despicable support for slavery, but hey, it is no different today.

We believe the Bush Administration, anybody supporting them, including so-called Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, are what the New Testament labels "MINISTERS OF SATAN" and this is important because, according to statistics, 87% of the people in the United States are Christian.

The testament states Satan and his ministers appear as angels of light, which is how they take over the world and the people who support them can not see their evil, even when it is placed before them.

Those able to see this are ignored and humanity once again goes down in flames, but this does NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN.

Real Christians Muslims, and Jews know God covered this potential atrocity by saying, 'If you change your ways, I'll save the planet'.

So.... what to do?

Over the holiday 'the crew' (Dahbud, Fly, ~@~, BL, myself, and ;-) those who want no mention here) got together and were blessed with a surprise visit from Herb.

If you don't know who Herb is, then you will have to do a search on this site and the easiest way to do that is produce an error (add an "x" after html in the (above) address box, near top of browser), and bring up a 404 page with local search and site map location.

(tmalss = To Make A Long Story Short) Herb said we should currently spend our time focusing on positive solutions, rather than negative problems because, 'denial has blinded truth,' and 'some of the media are coming around'.

He emphasized compassion for those confused by evil, reminded us what a society founded on love rather than hate could produce, and told us to be nice to one another.

To be honest, I was impressed.;-) especially when he took off and did a 'wheelie' down the entire length of the driveway', in the pouring rain, on a 700 plus pound machine with bags. (-;

Rather than focus on the problems, which are a result of 'this evil', we will now attempt to focus on SOLUTIONS.

Solutions for Problems
by Balz

While reading one of my favorite lists this morning, I was reminded of a splendid idea regarding 'Illegals' posted by an ® Asshole™.

"I like an idea floated recently - illegals get a $25,000 reward and a green card for turning in employers who hire illegals. The employers have to pay the reward. It's sweet, it's simple, and it will work. It's free enterprise at it's very best."

This idea works for me and is far better than what was proposed by Congress.

(fwiw/imo) Just so one knows, "® Asshole™" is a 'good thing' and a long story.


I grabbed the following from ~@~ 's main page for three reasons; (one), he yanks his comments quickly without archiving, (two) seldom says anything about politics, and (three) he mentioned my page (-;

"we are going to have a serious problem coming down the road"

Enough with the Rouge Government spy rhetoric Scotty. It was Your in-the-pocket Corporate Media who started it off with 'you guys' getting caught spying on a peaceful group of good Christian Quakers in Florida; a group "Ministers of Satan" (See Dahbud's pages.) would obviously despise.

If we are to believe your BOSS, then he is telling us QUAKERS ARE TERRORISTS (See Balzac's pages.) and we find that hard to believe; especially since he said during the first Presidential Debate, "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation - building missions, then we are going to have a serious problem coming down the road.".

He is telling US what dangers lurk in a future world with Gore as president, gets appointed by a "shameful Supreme Court", then does what he warns about (Takes us into "an illegal Crusade".)..and there is something wrong with that.

I hate to go back over history, but, the world was behind your BOSS when he went after Osama...even though there was no real proof Osama did it, other than a forged video tape which Dahbud covered in a number of his articles and then your BOSS pulled troops out of 'the search for Osama' and sent them to Iraq.

I often wonder how the Administration, Senate, and Congress sleep at night knowing they murdered 100s of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians who had nothing to do with the Twin Towers' and who are no different than the loved ones lost during 9/11, which is beginning to look, more and more, like an 'Inside Job", as each day passes.

Consider this, if you have committed crimes against humanity and the planet, like any other criminal, you do not want to go to jail, and when you have the power to prevent yourself from going to jail you, have the power of extending terms. If you do not know what I am talking about,

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." - GW Bush 12/18/2000.

"I mean, I was trying to get out of harm's way." ---George W. Bush (Translation, 'I'm a coward.')

"I don't believe any longer that it's a matter of connecting the dots. I think they had a veritable blueprint and we want to know why they didn't act on it." - Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), 6/6/02

Folks, it is time to give up denial and face the fact we have a "Rogue Government" that is now damaging our great grandchildren's future and lifestyle.

Nobody will save us? ~@~

Solutions for Problems
by Balz

It is hard to write about solutions with so much lying and corruption going on; especially when it comes from someone I used to respect (story below).

The lie spread near the end of this week, that the economy was strong and growing, was the one that angered me.

What Corporate Media, George, and his sidekick Hoppy Dick failed to mention is, the reason why the economy looked so good was BECAUSE OF THE RECORD OIL COMPANY PROFITS (where your tax refund went) , and... in case you have forgotten, chickenhawks George and Dick are respective heads of OIL FAMILIES (The ones getting rich, while your pocketbook slowly diminishes.)

With the unfolding of more Republican and Democrat corruption it would be in the best interest of the country to get rid of all the bad apples.

Where are your political heads at? In our opinion, you can't give back the gun once it has been fired and committed murder. You took the money from Abramoff knowing the guy was a crook, and then ??? gave it to charities, in order to wash your DIRTY HANDS of it, rather than give it back to Native Americans it was stolen from.

Do you think some of us forgot how Congress wrote bad checks and made bad charges that were never intended to be paid and got away with it, when any other decent citizen would be in jail.

It is clearly obvious our government has become dishonest and this is wrong. It reminds me of the press party where George was crawling around like a dog, looking for the alleged missing WMD, as if it were a joke and once again I remind you, DENIAL IS NOT IN EGYPT!

Congress' hands caught in the cookie jar

By Declan McCullagh

Story last modified Fri Jan 06 04:00:00 PST 2006

This is the second story in a two-part investigation. Read the first part here.

Dozens of U.S. senators are quietly tracking visits to their Web sites even though they have publicly pledged not to do so.

Sixty-six politicians in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are setting permanent Web cookies even though at least 23 of them have promised not to use the online tracking technique, a CNET investigation shows.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for instance, has been a longtime advocate of strict privacy laws to restrict commercial Web sites' data collection practices. In a statement posted on his own Web site, McCain assures visitors that "I do not use 'cookies' or other means on my Web site to track your visit in any way."

What's new:

Although they have promised to abstain from using cookies to track visits to their Web sites, at least 23 U.S. senators do so. Overall, 66 members of Congress use the tracking devices.

Bottom line:

Although there is no rule prohibiting members of Congress from using cookies, such practices have come under fire from privacy advocates, including from politicians who continue to employ cookie ID devices on their Web sites.

More stories on this topic

But visiting implants a cookie on the visitor's PC that will not expire until 2035.

ColdFusion was used to design the site by a third-party vendor, and we were not aware of any cookies," McCain's office said in a statement sent to CNET, referring to Adobe Systems' popular Web design software. "The information collected is not used by our office for any purpose, and we are currently in the process of deleting them."

All House members who use cookies either acknowledge it or have privacy policies that are silent on the topic. Of the 23 senators who pledged not to employ cookies but do anyway, 18 are Republicans and five are Democrats.

"It shows their lack of understanding of technology," said Sonia Arrison, director of technology studies at the Pacific Research Institute, a nonprofit group in San Francisco. "It's willful ignorance. They're complete hypocrites. How can they accuse companies of poor data management when they're not doing it on their own Web sites?"

No rule prohibits the use of Web monitoring techniques by Congress. But such a restriction does apply to executive branch agencies. The Pentagon and others scrambled this week to eliminate so-called Web bugs and cookies after inquiries from CNET

The practice of tracking Web visitors came under fire last week when the National Security Agency was found to be using cookies to monitor visitors. It halted the practice after inquiries from the Associated Press. The White House also was criticized last week for employing a tracking mechanism, created by WebTrends, that used a tiny GIF image.

Cookies are unique ID numbers that a remote Web site hands a browser, which automatically regurgitates them upon subsequent visits. They can be used for something as innocuous as permitting someone to customize a Web site's default language for return visits. In the worst case, they can be used to invade privacy by correlating one person's visits to potentially thousands of different Web sites.

(Like most online media organizations, CNET Networks, the publisher of, uses cookies. That use is detailed in a privacy policy.)

"The irony is rich"

It's ironic for senators to complain about private companies setting cookies and then go ahead and do it themselves, said Jim Harper, director of information studies at the Cato Institute, a free-market think tank.

"They should definitely abide by their privacy policies," Harper said. "The irony is rich."

McCain, for instance, spent years warning that cookies were a problem when used by corporations. "Through the use of cookies and other technologies, network advertisers have the ability to collect and store a great deal of information about individual consumers," McCain said in 2000 (click here for PDF). "This information is collected without the consumer's knowledge or consent."

Similarly, the Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee prepared a report in 2001 saying that 64 federal agency Web sites used permanent cookies. Today, so does the Governmental Affairs Committee.

One bill was even introduced in February 2000 to target corporations' use of cookies It died in a Senate committee.

In many cases, politicians seemed to be unaware of their use of Web tracking technology until being contacted this week.

A representative for the Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, said the office's Webmaster had no idea that set two cookies scheduled to expire in 2035. After CNET asked about it, the Webmaster started to dig through the code.

"Obviously our office has no idea what we're using these cookies for, because we don't even know they existed," said Ari Rabin-Havt, Reid's director of Internet communications.

One version of Reid's privacy policy is silent about cookie use, but a Spanish-language version pledged not to employ them.

Neither the House nor the Senate regulates whether its members may employ Web bugs or cookies, and neither requires privacy policies. Instead, the internal rules tend to cover topics such as restrictions on content and campaigning, design suggestions and guidelines for file names.

In general, it's up to individual Webmasters for senators' sites to set appropriate policies, said Senate Webmaster Cheri Allen.

"If there's a question as to whether something is appropriate, they would take that to the Rules Committee, which would then rule on each individual issue," Allen said.

The House also has no formal privacy requirements or cookie limitations for the sites it hosts.

"The statutes that require sites to have privacy policies or that put restrictions on the use of cookies--the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act--do not apply to House offices," said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the House Administration Committee, which sets the Web rules.

The committee does, however, suggest that House sites post some version of a model privacy statement resembling the Senate version, which mentions statistical information that House servers collect about visitors for "site management purposes."

Inadvertent cookie invocation

The most common breed of cookie returned by the legislative sites is generated by ColdFusion, a popular Adobe Systems Web-authoring program. Many Senate Webmasters rely on the program for their Web scripting, and the central servers run ColdFusion, said Allen, the Senate Webmaster.

Some versions of ColdFusion appear to set certain cookies to a default "persistent" setting that causes them to expire 30 years later. But Web developers can alter the expiration date or entirely stop the use of cookies.

Another variant appeared on the site of Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, who published a chunk of JavaScript on his site that lets people click to translate the page in But in doing so, it automatically sets a cookie for

Some congressional staffers defended Web tracking as benign or essential to their sites' operations. (Besides Nussle's example, no third-party tracking cookies or Web bugs appeared on congressional Web sites.)

A two-year cookie lives at the home page of Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican who presides over the Commerce Committee. The device appears to remember a visitor's screen font-size preferences, ranging from 10 point to 14 point, for subsequent visits. Spokeswoman Courtney Boone said any information collected is not used to monitor hits or visitors to the site.

"It probably was written in by a programmer unintentionally," she said. "We don't use anything from the Web site to collect information on people that use our Web site."

Federal agencies also tended to express surprise that they were using permanent cookies. A 2003 rule generally prohibits federal agencies from doing so.

"They are very old applications that have been around a long time," Janet Barnes, chief information officer for the Office of Personnel Management, said Thursday. Removing the cookies is "what we're going to do directly now that we know that they're there."

Barnes said, however, that "we don't believe we are in any way violating the intent of the policy"--and that because the information collected was never subjected to data-mining, "this is more of a technical correction" to come into compliance.

A representative of the International Broadcasting Bureau, known for its Voice of America service, also said its use of cookies was inadvertent and "the issue has been fixed."

When it comes to Congress, however, the Cato Institute's Harper said there is a lesson to learn.

"Members of Congress committed themselves to information policies that are unworkable given (anti-cookie) phobias in the past," Harper said. "The phobic response to cookies mirrors the phobic response to spam and the spyware problem. We simply can't rely on Congress to deal with difficult technology problems."

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If we want world peace, we must let go of our attachments and truly live like nomads.

That's where I no mad at you, you no mad at me.

That way, there'll surely be nomadness on the planet.

And peace begins with each of us.

A little peace here, a little peace there, pretty soon all the peaces will fit together to make one big peace everywhere.

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