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July 28, 2005

Fool Moon

Yet again, Jim Butcher has written a quick little novel blending PI Noir with modern Arcane. I just finished his second novel in the "Dresden Files"

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)
Amazon Price: $7.99/ $7.99
ISBN/ASIN: 0451458125
Buy

He did his homework regarding the mythos behind the Werewolf (There, wolf!) and laid the ground work for a larger story arc that I'm looking forward to reading.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2005

Light Reading

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2005

Singularity Sky and Traveler

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

On the Road Again

So itís back on the road to Cincinnati to finish up this project. Thursday Iím flying out early and Iíll probably end up back Sunday night, just because of timing. I have to remember to check my hotel reservation for next week to make sure that I have a room for Sunday night, as I think I was on autopilot when I booked and booked for Monday instead of Sunday. *Doh*

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2005

Bandwidth

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Travel

Seriously, donít travel Friday afternoon out of Seattle unless you absolutely LOVE to travel with kids. Is there some parenting convention in Detroit that I didnít know about this weekend? Everyone and their kids are on their way there now, whether or not my convention hypothesis is true.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)

Seattle Post Mortem

Seattle was a great time on many levels.

Professionally, I learned an incredible amount at QuickStart, and had the opportunity to meet some pretty awesome and talented people from all over the world, representing the newest talent to enter the ranks of Avanade. Of course, Ďnewestí is relative, as a few of them have been with us for over a year, some closer to two than one.

Be that as it may, Lindsay and Chris both had so much to offer, and itís unfortunate that Chris is leaving the QuickStart program. I was honored to be in her last class. Stuart and Raj of the London office stuck it out in Pioneer Square Wednesday night, and if either of you are reading, cheers.

I took the opportunity at the airport today to finish both PCFs that I had to do and my Annual Review Form. Hopefully Nino, Brian Vokoun and Mike Wood arenít too put out at their lateness.

Seattle itself, as I mentioned, seriously reminded me of Houghton. The people, the city, even the proximity to the water. The gorgeous landscapes were continuously awe-inspiring, and it was nice on the last couple days to see the mountains in the distance peak out from behind their veil of mist and haze. The next time Iím here, Iím going to make sure that I bring a day pack and head up to the mountains for a little out door RnR.

Jet City improv put on a great show, and Reality World was a blast. Ethan and Doug were a riot against each other and Bryan, Missy and Cheryl (??) supported their extreme antics with solid humor and character work. This groups ability to blend long and short form styles around the voting / contest paradigm is awesome, and I wonder whatís next... John Boyle went above an beyond two nights in a row to show this out-of-towner a good time, with Bryan, Doug and ďThe HowlerĒ chipping in a fair amount of effort on Thursday night (Bryan, thanks for the beer, mate).

Today is Saraís birthday and it sucks that Iím not home to celebrate it with her. The earlier flights out of town were full and the Red Eye on Thursday night would have put me home such that Sara would have had to miss work, so here I sit at 35k ft. at 7:00 pm EDT, missing my baby. I hope she likes the gifts that I sent her this week and the one or two more surprises I have left.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 07:30 PM | Comments (1)

another year over...

...a new one just begun.

Posted by sla5150 at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart

I love you with everything that I am. I shall serve you in those ways you require And the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand. I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night. And the eyes into which I smile in the morning.

I know I'm coming home late, but I'll be thinking about you all day today.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2005

Cobweb

I should also mention that I read

The Cobweb
Amazon Price: $15.00/ $10.20
ISBN/ASIN: 0553383442
Buy

last week and really enjoyed it. It's interesting to read these takes (especially pre-911) on the possibility of terrorism and warfare from within our own country. The fact that we have so many students that come into our country on visas that are untracked and unvetted is scary, given our current mode in most other aspects of our immigration and "security."

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

Seattle

I have to say that I like Seattle. It honestly reminds me of Houghton, only there's an ocean right off my balcony. Don't get me wrong, Lake Superior is pretty big, but it's not really the Pacfic(or Pugeot Sound with a cruise ship out my window).

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2005

Singularity

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 12:03 AM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2005

C-SPAN has cleared my mind a little

A couple of thoughts as I hurtle across these Unites States on my way to Seattle.

First, God love C-Span. I need to retract part of my rant regarding Judith Miller. I watched a debate last night recorded in November of 2004 at Boston College in which she was a participant and I was heartily informed. It turns out that she never published an article revealing an operatives identity, so I was a little harsh. I also that that I was so far convinced on this topic that I was incredibly amazed that I was moved a little toward compassion for the "No Protection Clause" side of the aisle, not by either of the two lawyers on the panel mind you, but by the student debater, whose ideas and arguments certainly did give me pause.

Granted, some of them were a little weak, as when he made allusion to 'bloggers and associated them to Journalists, which many journalists and Ďbloggers have already addressed (Radosh and Wonketter just to name a couple off the top of my head). For the most part, whoever, he made strong, convincing arguments for his side. The Asst. DA (all of the names were written down, and subsequently left on my desk at home, so I'm going to be vague here until I get back to Detroit and can insert them) was also convincing, but I got the feeling that she was preaching versus trying to persuade, and that doesn't really wash with us unconverted.

So I've realigned my thoughts on this matter somewhat.

My opinion of Judith Miller has gone up significantly since the realization that she didn't actually write anything. It will continue to go up as I research this more if she didnít write it because her ethics regarding the safety of the operative forbade it. Weíll see.

It's certainly a grayer area now for me, because what comes out of the argument is that I think the journalists certainly do need protection, but I also think that there would need to be a serious analysis of the checks and balances that go along with certain immunities. I was convinced that for the most part, today's system does work, threatening jail time certainly will help weed out the true sources over the fabricated and the worthwhile stories from the tripe, but I also agree that with today's US government only an uncontrolled and unfavored press will truly communicate to and for the people. The current establishments trend toward secrecy and Orwellian spin has me so terrified, it honestly does keep me up some nights. Iím so annoyed that more people donít realize what they willingly give up and arenít likely to get back any time soon. This, however, is a rant for another time.

I thought about some of the arguments and it doesn't seem to me that they are, technically, exclusive. If both sides honestly wanted to create a system that encouraged honesty and truth while offering the protection to sources that wanted to do the right thing, but feared (on whatever level) for their well being, it could be done.

Other professions have specific identifiers that specify that they are eligible to offer protection, most of them being official documentation revolving around scholastic accomplishment or religious piety. It doesn't seem to me to be too restrictive to suggest that the only people who could offer this specific protection of anonymity to their sources would be degreed journalists. Into this program we require certain things be topics of serious study (ethics...?), and that anyone can write copy for any publication or appear on a news show, but only those with the degrees can guarantee anonymity to their sources. Build into this clauses for eminent threat, a la doctors, psychotherapists and the clergy, and checks and balances requiring editorial responsibility and notation/documentation on behalf of the journalistsí employers (be they permanent or freelance) and I think this problem can solved, or at least addressed in a reasonable and effective manner.

I still want to see the people responsible for revealing the operatives identity pistol whipped in a public square, but that, too, might be a little harshÖor not.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 10:42 PM | Comments (3)

July 07, 2005

Today in London..

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone effected by these heinous crimes.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

Judith Miller - Traitor, Patriot

Am I the only person that finds this disturbingly ironic?

The Russian Interior Ministry has denounced the arrest of U.S. journalist Judith Miller who refused to reveal her source, Itar-Tass reported Thursday. The decision violates journalistsí rights and the freedom of press, the Ministry said.
--MosNews

Seriously. If it comes to the point where RUSSIA is telling us that we are abusing the rights of our citizens - and they're not just doing it to blow smoke - maybe it's time for a check in, hrm??

We have a leak in our governemnt. A leak that appears to be conveniently active against people who are criticizing the Bush administration. The Grand Jury is trying to force the reporters who broke this particular story to testify and reveal their sources by sending them to jail. HMMMM...sounds a lot like what China does to people they like to call 'threats' and what Russia used to do (and probably still does, don't get me wrong) to critics of the establishment.

What these reporters did for a story is reprehensible. We rely on HUMINT more and more as our technology based sources consistently show failure (what ever happened to those trucks that were creating WMDs, anyway??), and for them to reveal the identity of one of those resources not only puts the agent at risk, but all of their contacts and loved ones world wide. I think the reporters should be taken out back and shot, but NOT because they are protecting their sources. I'll stand the line to defend their right not to reveal them.

And then kick their ass for revealing the identity of the people who really matter. You know, the ones risking their lives everyday to get the actual truth? Whether the intelligence that they produce is used or not is up to the political spin machine that is slowly destorying our constitution word-by-word and line-by-line, but the fact that they are out there everyday endangering themselves, only to be betrayed by an american? WTF?!?

Why isn't there a law against revelaing the identity of a US undercover agent? (Authors note: Turns out there is, but only if you are in a government position.) Seems like that would be useful, huh? If the reporters don't want to pass the buck for that (or at least share in the wealth of the prison term) more power to them. Put them away as the traitors that they are; but DON'T put them in jail over their right to free speech. That is stepping over the line.

"But Chuck, how can you condemn them and defend them in the same 'blog entry?" You might ask.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function". (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Simple. I loathe them for what they've done to the resource in question, but I think that they have the right not to reveal their sources. They should have had the common sense, intelligence and decency to realize that what they were going to do was going to have some pretty serious consequences. You know, like putting the lives of someone and all of their contacts into extreme danger for the sake of a story. How stupid...seriously. These reporters were used like pawns. Ignorant pawns. That being said, they have the right to say what they said, and to protect who they heard it from. I just think that there should be consequences for doing what they did in terms of their story and the facts that they revealed, not for protecting their source of information.


07/09/2005I have a partial retraction for this piece, but I'll write in enroute to Seattle tomorrow

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)