War flow review

It's been several months since I made the American War with Iraq Justification Process flow and it's time for a revisit. Looks like we've made it all the way to the end case, "The war is to liberate the Iraqi people." Now all I need to do is insert another box after it saying, "Hawks gloat, It was always about liberating Iraqis, America pretty sure it's great but soldiers are still dying and their tours of duty are being extended and at home their veterans benefits are being slashed." Whooh, that's a long one!

California in the Economist

There's an interesting article about California's current political and fiscal crisis in this week's The Economist, California in Crisis: Is the Golden State governable?

Both the recall and the budget can be partly explained away as special problems. The budget crisis is a delayed reaction to the dotcom bust (and the collapse in tax revenues)…and the recall is essentially a political ruse by the Republicans to take advantage of that…[y]et both the recall and the budget are also symptoms of a more profound malaise in the state…

The real flaw in California is not a mechanical one to do with how smoothly the machinery of government is working (though it plainly isn't doing very well). The real problem is that politicians have become divorced from the changing nature of their state.

Guh, I'm glad I moved. Not that New York doesn't have its own problems, and lots of them.

War is peace

Apparently a Norwegian parliamentarian has nominated President Bush and Prime Minister Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize. I can't think of anything more 1984-like in my life. It's like the culmination of all the propaganda we've been dealing with. Anyway, the link is to a GOP site which lists an email address and postal address where you "can send a letter of support for the nomination of George W. Bush and Tony Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize to the Norwegian Nobel Institute." Of course, one could also send a letter conveying shock and outrage at the mere suggestion of such a thing. Unless you believe we've always been at war with Eurasia.

“I weep for my country”

W. Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd speaking yesterday on The Arrogance of Power:

We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split. After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.

Plan to kill Hussein

There's a surprisingly good article from USA Today about the US plan to track and kill Saddam Hussein using special forces. Of note was this quote:

Last year, Bush directed the CIA to undertake a covert mission to topple Saddam and, if the operatives believed their lives were in danger, to kill him.

I hadn't heard about this, was the mission carried out?