: I agreed to be a part of another frigging panel next week, giving some damned conference organizer free content. OK, I know the deal. But I just got email from the organizers — at VNU — acting like they were doing me some f’ing favor introducing me to some f’ing vendor who is there. Yeah, like I’m dying to talk to a yellow pages vendor. Let me at ‘em. I sent email to the bozo who sent me this human conference spam and told him to stop spamming me. He had the balls to send back email not apologizing but saying, “The purpose wasn’t to spam you but rather to facilitate matching between attendees at the DMC and the various other vendors there…” To which I replied with one word: “Bull.”
: For MSNBC’s Connected, I’m pointing to blogs commenting on Israeli President Mosche Katsav’s historic — we hope — handshakes with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iranian President Mohammed Khatami at the pope’s funeral. Katsav was born in Iran and he and Khatami spoke in Persian for an hour, some reports said. Links:
: Jeff Perin at Opinionmeister says:
It does not mean that they are friendly, but it is a sign of progress, no matter how small. In the past, leaders of Arab states still at war with Israel and of Iran would not appear in the same room as a high Israeli official, much less extend a hand to be shaken. It is amazing that whoever arranged the seating allowed the presidents of Israel and Syria to be seated so close together. If nothing else, it shows that the heads of Syria and Iran are worried enough about the Bush Doctrine that they want good PR in the West.
Outside the Beltway is pessimistic: “My guess is that the net effect on Middle East peace of this encounter will approximate zero.”
: Spinbad says:
A non-event, but a huge non-event in the context of the history of Arab-Israel conflict, and a heart-warming tribute to the outreach and conciliation efforts of Pope John Paul II, may he rest in peace.
: QandO has a note of hope:
Its another in a long list of occurrances and happenings unthinkable 2 years ago which can’t help but give the rest of the world hope that there will indeed be peace, stability and democracy in the Middle East’s future.
: And the Passionate Pilgrim said this brought tears to her eyes: “If they are half as sincere as they seem to be, John Paulís death may be the sign of the peace to come in our lifetime. Salam. Shalom. Amen.”
: ANOTHER HANDSHAKE: Through an amusing big of miscommunication, I at first went looking for posts about another handshake — between Prince Charles and Mugabe. Not nearly as earthshaking but, as all things Princely, amusing:
: SJHoward, a British blog says:
Considering his luck lately, the poor fellow was bound to make some diplomatic gaffe, and if youíre going to do it, you might as well do it properly….
So, for once, Iím going to stick up for Charles on this issue, since I think he probably did the only thing he could in the circumstances. Whether the circumstance should have been allowed to rise is another matter, but surely not one for the Prince.
: Blogophile is a blog devoted to Prince Charles news. Its latest news says that Charles shook hands with Mugabe. And in earlier Prince Charles news: “Charles repents adultery.”
: Ian Schwartz has the video.
Media on media
: Will be on MSNBC’s Connected at 5 to point to blogs reacting to the historic — we hope — handshakes between Israeli President Moshe Katsav and Syria’s Assad and Iran’s Khatami. Also other blogs. Will post links later….
: See the handshake posts above. I also plan to mention the prison blogs, below, the launch of Sploid, the amusing backpedaling happening over the Schiavo memo (see Kaus on one end, Malkin on the other… since I was late to this story, I won’t even try to summarize it badly), and the Reporters Without Borders freedom awards, below.
: Ian Schwartz has the video. Not my best performance.
: Trey Jackson has video, too.
Blogging behind bars
: Well, this may be a first: An inmate blogger. PrisonPete doesn’t reveal his real name or his crimes but says:
I am currently an inmate in a prison in New York State. I have spent the last eight years of my life living in various federally and state funded gated communities. I was a computer programmer before my career change to living off the taxpayers.
He blogs through someone on the outside who occasionally speaks as his editor and insists he’s real and says it’s up to us whether we want to believe that.
He talks about cooking spaghetti, his prison dorm, his appeals, his “hack” counselor….
The funniest thing about it is the ads Google puts on for the incarcerated demographic: Correctional furnishings and “Find Inmates for Dating.”
: MORE: Well, he certainly isn’t the first. There’s a trend in prison blogging. Thanks to Aaron in the comments, we read “English Shaun” at the once-pseudonymous blog JonsJailJournal. He writes from the infamous Maricopa County prison in Arizona (the one where the warden dresses men in pink underwear and subjects them to cams and more). Here’s a BBC story about him.
: Jeralyn Merritt and TalkLeft just wrote about Meet Vernon, written (via mail) by a death-row inmate.
: Any more?
You won’t see this on Drudge
: Sploid’s take on the pope’s funeral:
Bostonís Cardinal Bernard Law ó who resigned in total disgrace barely two years ago for aggressively protecting a gang of amoral pervert priests who answered only to him ó is one of just nine lucky ducks chosen to preside over John Paul IIís funeral.
Fill the damned hole
: The NY Post’s Steve Cuozzo has, more than anyone in New York media, kept pushing officials to keep moving on building the new World Trade Center. Yesterday, the paper gave over its editorial pages to a sharp poke in the eye of politicians and bureaucrats who have let the process grind to a shameful halt.
While all eyes were turned to the fight over the West Side stadium, redevelopment at the far more vital World Trade Center site crawled to a virtual halt….
More than 31/2 years since 9/11, all the various projects for which designs have been approved and publicized appear bogged down to different degrees. The need to “start filling the damned hole” ó as one very involved, very exasperated executive put it ó has fallen subordinate to turf battles and bean-counting on all sides….
Now, insiders privately doubt that the tower can be completed by its announced 2009 target (itself a quiet retreat from the 2008 date that Pataki promised two years ago).
At this rate, if history is any guide, the city’s skyline will still have a void where the Twin Towers used to be, 10 years after the attack ó and maybe 15.
Just the day before, I came through the PATH station, as I often do, and I shook my head at the lack of activity there and at the scar of the Deutsche Bank Building carcas still standing. The only good news there has been the reopening of PATH and the building of WTC 7, which is now the bright and shining exception.
What liberal media?
: Reporters Without Borders nominates 60 blogs for freedom awards, among them many good bloggers and good friends. But I note that the only Iraqi blog they select is the anti-American Riverbend. Now if they want to nominate her, that’s fine; I get it. But then for Reporters Without Borders to not nominate the many bloggers who have actually reported news in Iraq — but aren’t so anti-Ameerican — is ridiculous… and revealing.
And from this side of the world, this would be my nominee.
: The other day, the LA Times quoted the head of Comcast saying that he was considering taking Howard Stern’s show off E! to suck up to legislators and regulators.
On Stern’s show this morning, they said that panicked calls were made from Comcast to E! to Stern Inc. denying this.
Well, good. Comcast officially gets its balls back.
Disney, on the other hand, has no balls. Mickey is a eunuch.