Peace Festival. Did you know that activists have staged a peace festival in Cleveland the last few years, as a counter-demonstration to what they consider a militaristic Cleveland Air Show? Until recently, I didn't. Here's one leftie's account of this year's proceedings.
Parents of College Kids, Take Heart! Open source textbooks might one day deliver you from the outrageous prices for college textbooks.
Piercing Media Tropes. You've gotta love how the prolific Michael Lewis returns to his native New Orleans and vividly describes how different it is from the cartoonishly surface depictions you might have noticed in most media accounts. I especially enjoyed his lampooning of the fake storm reporting overseen by ABC's resident fake reporter, Charlie Gibson. Just the latest reminder of how TV, where it's increasingly only about the ratings, rarely gets even mildly complex stories right.
A New Addition to My Must-Read List. Do you want to know what's really going on with defense and foreign policy issues? Then I suggest you occasionally peruse Steve Coll's new blog on the New Yorker's website. He's the former managing editor of the Washington Post, author of two important books (which you'll find here and here) about Osama Bin Laden and related subjects, and now a staff writer for the magazine. With Sy Hersh writing far less than he used to, Coll has partially filled that vacuum.
Smarmy Joe. New York magazine nicely deconstructs one of America's smarmiest politicians, the oily and obnoxious Joe Lieberman. The good news is that McCain was talked out of naming him as his running mate at the last minute. That means he gets to return to the Senate, where the fate he's earned for himself awaits him: an outcast in his own party, but a man who can't really be respected by the Republicans either. At least we won't have to keep seeing that oily smile of his so much, as his national profile begins to slowly wane.