Debt Crunch In Plain English. Many of the indirect consequences of the subprime mortgage meltdown have become so arcane and obscure that investors can be surprised when a bit of not-so-prime toxin turns up in a part of their portfolios they thought was safe. DLA Piper has a nice page with a (fairly) plain English explanation of the auction rate securities market meltdown.
No Editor, No Spin The US Army has put up a fascinating archive of debriefings of personnel returning from Iraq and other combat locations. (Click GWOT Oral History Program on the sidebar). There are hundreds of items from the top generals all the way to front line infantrymen. I've only dabbled in the archive, but there's some fascinating stuff there, like this story of the Thunder Run into Baghdad. This should be incredibly valuable for the historian, or for any pundit who's actually willing to read something from those on the ground before spouting off. Anyone up for correlating these reports against the MSM stories of the time?
Last As It Was First. The book was the first medium to go 'mass', back in the day of Gutenberg. Ironically, the advent of the net and the Long Tail phenomenon typified by Amazon, along with well-entrenched habits for print consumption, may have provided an Indian summer for the medium. But the distribution chain was in trouble, first the independent book shops, and now the big boys are being squeezed. (Update: More at the WaPo.) Along with all the time displaced to reading Web pages, we may finally have a successful electronic book with the Kindle. In common with vested interests from other old media, old style authors have noticed, and are screeching about the end of the world as we know it.
Labels Studios Publishers are being squeezed as well, and cutting back on their risk-reducing activities of fronting advances to authors and absorbing returns from the channel, leading author Roger Simon to wonder "what's the point of the publisher?"
Sea-borne Owl. This place needs a Friday animal post occasionally. Aw, isn't that cute?? Every carrier group needs a licensed falconer on board.