December 23, 2005

LinkNews Digest [12/23/2005]

Politicians are Against Spam...Unless It's Theirs

MIAMI (Reuters) - Florida's attorney general has spearheaded an aggressive campaign against unsolicited e-mails, or spam. But as a candidate for governor, he appears to be generating some unwanted Internet clutter himself.

Charlie Crist was a staunch defender of a tough anti-spam law passed by the state legislature last year, under which violators can be fined up to $500 for every e-mail they send. But a report in Thursday's St. Petersburg Times said Crist, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, had annoyed some residents of the state by sending them unwanted e-mails promoting his candidacy and soliciting campaign donations.

Crist was not immediately available for comment. But Vivian Myrtetus, a spokeswoman for his gubernatorial campaign, denied that he was somehow holding himself to different standards than other e-mailers. "This is not spam. This is truthful, it's straight forward. We're honest. To be spam it has to be, under Florida law, defined as being deceptive," Myrtetus. (LINK )

Disturbed Fan Gets Restraining Order Against Letterman

David Letterman has been temporarily restrained by a woman who believes that he torments her over the airwaves using a secret code.

New Mexico resident Colleen Nestler filed court documents late last week, alleging that Letterman has been using code words, gestures and "eye expressions" for more than 10 years to convey his desire to marry her and train her as his cohost.

Letterman's lawyers have claimed Nestler's complaints are "without merit" and have asked Sanchez to quash the order.

In her letter to the court, she claims she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" after he began hosting The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS in 1993. "Dave responded to my thoughts of love, and, on his show, in code words & obvious indications through jestures [sic] and eye expressions, he asked me to come east," she wrote.

Letterman upped the ante, she claimed, when he asked her to be his wife shortly before Thanksgiving in 1993. In a teaser for his show, Letterman jokingly said, "Marry Me, Oprah," which Nestler rapidly deduced was a message intended for her. "Oprah had become my first of many code names," she wrote. "...[A]s time passed, the code-vocabulary increased & changed, but in the beginning things like 'C' on baseball caps referred to me, and specific messages through songs sung by his guests, were the beginnings of what became an elaborate means of communication between he and myself." (LINK )

College Christmas List: Shocking Guns


Running around like a couple of kids going "bang bang" with laser guns is, well, quite fun. But where's the fear? Where's the adrenalin?

Well, this Shocking Guns kit adds that vital kick. Two players, two chunky guns, and two 'target' plates you wear on your chest are all the kit you need. Now when you shoot your mate (and you better make sure it's that way round), instead of there just being a lame beep, your mate gets an electric shock through the handle of their gun.

There are two levels of shock - wimp or tough guy - and once you've zapped the other person five times, they're out. The guns are auto re-load, and built really sturdily with long range, super accurate power shock beams. If you thought paint-balling was nerve-wracking then you just have to try this. (LINK )

Army Officer Blings Herself Out with Iraq Funds

An Army lieutenant colonel who received the Bronze Star for her wartime service in Iraq was arrested yesterday and charged with taking bribes in a growing corruption scandal involving the Iraq reconstruction program. The officer, Lt. Col. Debra Harrison, a reservist in a civil affairs unit based in Norristown, Pa., is the fourth person and the second senior Army officer to be arrested and charged in the scandal.

She is charged with receiving cash bribes of $80,000 to $100,000, a Cadillac Escalade, a trove of illegal weaponry and other items for steering construction jobs to an American contractor in Iraq.

Some of the cash, intended for projects like a library in the holy city of Karbala and an Iraqi police academy south of Baghdad, paid for a new hot tub and a deck for Colonel Harrison's home in Trenton, according to the federal affidavit. Conviction on the charges, including conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering as well as a long list of weapons charges, could put her in prison for up to 30 years, the Justice Department said in a statement.(LINK )

Santa Anarchy in the N.Z.

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Forty drunken Santas rampaged through central Auckland, stealing from stores and assaulting security guards, the New Zealand Herald reported on Sunday, in a protest against the commercialization of Christmas.

Police said some of the Santas threw beer bottles, one tried to climb the mooring rope of a cruise ship and a security guard was punched during the fracas.

"They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves," convenience store staff member Changa Manakynda told the Herald, which reported the Santas also attacked a Christmas tree. The event organizer, Alex Dyer, had warned the antics would only stop when someone was arrested, said the Herald, which linked the incident to "Santarchy."

Santarchy (www.santarchy.com) and online encyclopedia wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) record protests going back around 10 years in the United States, with participants marking Christmas in anti-commercial manner involving street theater, pranks and public drunkenness.(LINK )

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