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on Dec 7, 2007
We may be a very important little community in our own eyes, but somehow, I think issues nearer to home are what is expected of our City government. As it is, green building and the Environment Commission, while the green building a good idea, they are basically two issues that should be one, Iran is a long way off the mark.
Good to know our council members are focused on the things that matter to us, and that they have the power to do something about. I hope that after they take care of all our international issues on Monday night, they can turn to curing cancer next week.
Iran?????? I didn't elect this council based on their world political views and I would thank them not to wander into this territory. Stay focused on Palo Alto, people!
How is it not relevant to spend some small period of time on international issues? It's a fact that revenues expended on international hostilities are revenues that are not made available for things like mass transit, infill housing subsidies, road repair enhancements, supplementary federal funds for libraries public safety facilities, and so on.
My hope is that when Council does discuss international affairs (as it should, occasionally) it brings forward disagreements relative to the opportunity costs associated with policies that the Council (and community) at large are opposed to.
If certain Councilmembers only want to voice their individual opposition (or support) for American policy abroad (or at home), that's their right, but one would hope that they keep it short, and further keep it from political grandstanding that diminished the perception of general policy-making ineffectiveness in those who are opposed to such things.
Grand standers, we salute you! To think that other towns suffer with councils that don't even *think* that global warming and international policy should be on their agenda. We are truly lucky to live in this place.
> How is it not relevant to spend some small period of
> time on international issues?
Because the City Government exists only to the limits of the City Charter. The City Charter does not provide any power to the Council to discuss Iraq, or the foreign affairs of the US. The Federal Government is tasked with this matter. We have a US Representative here in Palo Alto. People who have an issue with Federal Government should take that matter up with the Federal Legislative representatives--not the City Council.
> It's a fact that revenues expended on international hostilities are
> revenues that are not made available for things like mass transit,
> infill housing subsidies, road repair enhancements, supplementary
> federal funds for libraries public safety facilities, and so on.
False! Most wars are paid for through loans and bonds, which are not considered "revenue", but are ultimately paid for from revenue at some future time. The idea that government has a right to tax hard working people to provide "subsidies for in-fill housing" is so reprehensible that it is simply offensive.
> If certain Councilmembers only want to voice their individual
> opposition (or support) for American policy abroad (or at home),
> that's their right,
Council Members are not "individuals" when they are acting in an official capacity--they are community "deciders". Therefore, Council Members should deal only with matters that are authorized by the Charter.
For instance, when Iran invaded the US Consulate in the late '70s--where was the Palo Alto City Council then? Pretty silent. And then when the President of Iran recently proclaimed that Israel should be "wiped off the map"--where was Drekmeier, Cordell and Kleinberg? Again, very, very silent!
Palo Alto is part of the world, so are City Council members. America is a land of ofree speech.
Thus, the answer is clear; let them speak.
For all we know Iran is debating the expansion of Stanford hospital and panhandling on University Ave.
I wonder how the nine people who out of work at Ciardellas because the Council doesn't have time to rezone their new site feel about the the fact that the Council has time to discuss Iran.
Please, City Council! There is a reason why you're not in Congress. You didn't run for it. You ran to represent the citizens of a CA city named Palo Alto that is famous simply because it is contiguous to a famed university. Just as any community Palo Alto has unique problems and conflicts of interest. It also has and has had since my family moved here in the spring of 1965 a few devious concilmembers, some of whom I had voted for. You are not going to be able to change international policies other than perhaps the "sister cities" relationships. You can influence the wellbeing of this city. Please, City Council!
Thankyou to Terry.
It is so hard for me to understand many comments above. I have been too long been witnessing the actions of the US Government that pretends to act in my name and yours in taking this country into war. A government that has invaded occupied and destroyed a nation with the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives including more than 3,744 of our soldiers who have died in Iraq and more than 27,000 who have been seriously wounded. I am incredulous that you are not as aghast as I am at the thought of this irresponsible warmongering being extended to Iran.
As of August this year the Iraq war has cost $54.55 billion of that District 14 which of course includes Palo Alto has paid $1.76 billion. If you are not concerned for the loss of life which includes many Californians including men and women from the Bay Area try to think of how much of that $1.76 billion might have been used for 'mass transit, infill housing subsidies, road repair enhancements, supplementary federal funds for libraries public safety facilities, and so on.' And we can include in this list green building and an Environmental Commission or may be the need for response to global warming is an issue that is too international for Palo Alto? !!!!!!
I believe that if elected representatives of the people in cities, counties and states speak out and show leadership for the 70% of the population who oppose the war in Iraq and the warmongering against Iran the U.S government will get a lesson in democracy and begin to understand that fighting wars for profiteers, undermining the economic and moral infrastructure of our country and ignoring the peril of global warming is about as destructive as you can get.
This is as much an issue for us as it is for every other city in the United States. Support your City Council on Monday 10th December - International Day of Human Rights
When council talks about Iran(is this a neighboring city on the peninsula?), how about lifting the facial expression ban for a few minutes so that community members in the audience can provide council members some real-time feedback.
I know we just had an election, but sounds like it's time for a recall...
This kind of Council thinking makes me really, really grateful I don't live in Palo Alto, the Berkeley of the Peninsula ( and that is not a compliment)... I live in Los Altos..where our Council works on what we elected them to work on...
> I believe that if elected representatives of the people in cities,
> counties and states speak out and show leadership for the
> 70% of the population who oppose the war in Iraq and the
> warmongering against Iran the U.S government will get a
> lesson in democracy
In the late 1930s the US got "a lesson in democracy". The US, under a Democrat president, stood by as Italy invaded Ethiopia, Germany invaded Poland, Russia, Denmark, France, Holland, Greece, the Balkans and began its preliminaries to an eventual invasion of Britain. Japan invaded China, Korea and Burma (at least) while the US did nothing. During the election of 1940, the successful candidate for president (Roosevelt) continuously proclaimed "no involvement in foreign wars" and the crowds cheered and elected this man! In Britain, and to some extent in the US, students in universities and colleges began to promote something called "The Oxford Oath" (originating at Oxford University), by which each signer proclaimed that "he/she would not defend king and country".
Well, all of this "democracy" came to an end on December 7th, 1941. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Roosevelt did not ask about "negotiations" with the Japanese--he declared WAR on them, even though he had promised not to do so during his campaign.
While one can only wonder why anyone would sign an oath to stand by if your country were attacked--as did the hundreds of thousands of British and US college students--virtually all did the right thing and joined the military or engaged in some sort of national defense service when it was clear that being opposed to "foreign wars" wouldn't keep you out of one.
People who see the US's strong stance against Terrorism (and its State Sponsors), would probably have been the same people who were pushing "The Oxford Oath" onto college students who were not quite ready to understand the real world, claiming that "Hitler is not a threat to us".
You know why they will discuss Iran? Because neighborhood groups, NIMBYists, anti-growth zealots and Stanford bashers do not have an opinion one way or another.
the city council will not deal with Ciardellas or Alma Plaza, or Edgewood Plaza etc because when they deal with that, they will have to face the above groups and try to make all of them happy after listening to EVREYTHING they have to say before hiring a consultant and appointing a new commission and a blue ribbon panel to look into the matter.
Better to spend their time bloviating about Iran.
I have learned that Iran is contributing heavily to global warming. I bet the City Council is considering whether they should lead the invasion...
I think we should send our entire city council on a fact finding mission to Iran.
Will the council also discuss nuclear proliferation, or Iran's contribution to global warming? How about Iran's President's views on Israel? How about when they invaded the US Embassy and took hostages? How about their treatment of minorities (like Kurds), or women?
Perhaps the Iranians have a special kind of storm drain we can use here?
I guess all the potholes are fixed.
I was taught that the doctrine of Interposition had been resolved at Appomattox Courthouse a while ago.
For the Council to go beyond their mandate and use their position to express their personal opinions on matters outside relevance to that mandate is unethical and probably illegal, on a par with having staff run personal errands for them.
Our poor excuse for a city council once again involves itself well beyond its mandate.
How much time will be spent fully assessing Iran? Will city resources be spent analyzing national security reports or will our city council members be winging it? Will there be any independent research or will the city council base their views solely on what they read in the newspapers?
Israel is sending people to Washington to discuss the report. Shall Palo Alto be represented so we are fully informed?
Of course this provides a nice distraction from the issues we need addressed in Palo Alto and no one here will be responsible for their poorly informed pronouncements.
This is outrageous but not surprising. City Council members, please stick to your charter. Thank you.
WHY? Are there not enough problems unsolved in Palo Alto?
Oh good. The city council is finally going to do something important. As in, get laughed at by the rest of the country. Are we turning into another Berkeley???
Why can't these morons do something really important - something they have the power and influence to do??? Like, addressing the decreasing revenue base within the city, worrying about housing, etc.
I'm glad we don't pay these people much...
Suppose our esteemed "city council" takes the intelligent approach and decides to nuke Iran, the entire country. Do you really think anyone will listen??
It's too bad that the current council wasn't in power 66 years ago when Japan attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor. They could have brought out hot chocolate and cookies for the pilots.
Countries like Iran have the power to destroy the world as we know it. Forget "global warming" - the heat from one Iranian nuke (or it's material) will make that seem like winter in July.
Sometimes, it appears that our "city council" forgets what it's job is. Managing the City of Palo Alto. An insignificant (by world standards) town of 60,000 people. Make our lives better. Don't try to change the rest of the world.
You can always count on Drekmeier to support something outside of Palo Alto. One of these days he may actually start to focus on the job to which he was elected. His claim to fame seems to be that he was born and raised in Palo Alto - not that he understands what is going on now.
According to the Daily News:
Saturday Dec 8
Excessive force verdict upheld
Three former Palo Alto police officers beat up a man for alleged public drunkenness
A state appeals court this week supported a jury's finding that three former Palo Alto police officers used excessive force in a 1997 altercation with a man they thought was publicly drunk.
Whatcha' wanna bet that this topic never comes up before the City Council? Neither did any of the other police misconduct matters that have occurred over the years. Oversight of the police of interest to the Palo Alto City Council? Nope! But Iran--A Country that routinely screams: "Death To America"? Yeah, they've got time to talk about that!
You thank Mayor Yoirko and her "solving the world's problems while ignoring Palo Alto" approach to governing for much of this. But all of the city council should be ashamed of themselves for not standing up and saying "we need to deal with local problems with the same zeal we show for climate change and Iran".
Oh , I forgot they cannot do t hat--one of the other member smay get upset and we cannot have conflict
The council is just calling for peace in our time.
It's a meaningless statement. However, they will feel better about it. Let them make it, then move on. I doubt that most Palo Alto citizens will take them seriously, anyway.
If LaDoris Cordell lived in Iran she would be put to death under the current regime.
Judy Kleinberg lived there she would be discriminated against.
Peace through Victory
Please run the city not the world!
Maybe this time there will be a more thoughtful approach by our country to matters of war and peace than Bush and Chneey provided before hurtling the nation into the dreadful Iraq debacle. If it takes local city councils all across America debating Iran, then so be it. Until we have a responsible, sensible national government run by patriots rather than insecure Chickenhawks, the rest of the nation will just have to fill the vacuum.
David Horowitz, the famous author and historian , made the following remarks concerning a recent anti-war rally:
"Lesbians marched side by side with Islamic radicals, despite the fact that the Islamists would have the lesbians killed if they were in power."
My guess is the Israel-First crowd wants to silence critique of using USA as their own personal attack dog.
I don't begrudge their activism, I just wish they would do it on their own dime, since our city is in debt. I assume we will be paying staffers and security and other associated city employees to be there to support their discussion.
Prof. Horowitz is aruging sideways in linking "lesbians" and "Islamic radicals" to any reasoned discussion by Americans about our country's policy on war and peace. Our nation needs a mature foreign policy rooted both in America's interests and values and based on the American character. That character leads us to be slow to anger but resolute in our own defense. If the incompetent, Chickenhawk Bush-Cheney White House cannot manage this, let the thoughtful debates about Iran take place both at the grass roots and in the Congress until such time as a federal administration worthy of trust is voted into office. We can all hope that next November will see the voters put paid to this disaster that is the Bush Presidency.
A refusal by some Council members to discuss this issue would be satisfying to many. Does any one member have the courage to say "no"?
> If the incompetent, Chickenhawk Bush-Cheney White House
> cannot manage this, let the thoughtful debates about Iran take
> place both at the grass roots and in the Congress until such
> time as a federal administration worthy of trust is voted
> into office.
Incompetence is the record of the Roosevelt Administration up to the beginning of WWII--not the Bush Administration. Henry L. Stimson, during the Hoover Administration, shut down the State Department's cryptographic unit (in other words disabling the US Government's Signals Intelligence capability) claiming: "Gentlemen do not read other people's mail". This astonishingly inept act was continued through the Roosevelt Administration, ultimately allowing the Japanese to assemble a large task force which sailed from Japan to Hawaii during the fall of 1941 without fear of being detected by the Roosevelt Administration's totally incompetent defense posture. This task force delivered a horrific blow on December 7th, 1941, to US pride and our Pacific Defense posture because no one in Washington was conducting surveillance on the Japanese, who had been at war with the Chinese for almost eight years by that time.
The Bush Administration, on the other hand, has seen that the issue of Islamic Radicalism can not be solved by a foreign policy that invites terrorists to "come to tea" and discuss "options", seeking "nuanced" solutions to problems that obviously require military might to solve.
Roosevelt was almost incompetent as a president for his inability to recognize what could only be seen as "mortal danger" to the county.
Bush and his people recognize that "carrots" without "sticks" will not work, and have used the "stick" instead of the "carrot".
There is not one of the Palo Alto City Council that has any experience in national defense issues. Whatever they have to say is meaningless.
The PA city council members love internal polictic. Some of them should run for senator in the future. The city council position is served local community. Palo Alto curently has a lot of issues and the city council really need to take the leadership for the city of Palo Alto.
The technical term for this behavior is smoke screen. It is unethical to use any city property for other then its intended purpose, and the rationalizations sound just like those for having firemen sandbag houses or police running errands. Councilfolk, get your paws out of petty cash and fix those problems that lie entirely within the scope of city government.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
so if these folks lived in iran.....
cordell would be killed?
what about drekmeier?
would he be like Cat Stevens then?
Actually, it's the US Congress that should discuss Iran, as part of the impeachment process of Bush/Cheney. Although they knew very well that Iran didn't have a nuclear weapon program, they tried to get this country to launch another illegal, criminal war. Even if Iran had a nuclear weapons program, who died and made us kings? Since when can a country like the USA, which invades other countries a will, breaking all the international conventions it has ratified, decide who should have nuclear weapons and who shouldn't? Iran or any other country, should have the same right to have nuclear weapons like we do, although unlike the US, Iran hasn't invaded another sovereign countries. I would wholly support the city council if it had the authority to impeach Bush/Cheney, but it's the duty of the Congress to impeach those criminals, and the Congress has abrogated its duty.
The recent disclosure that the latest National Intelligence Estimate concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapon program several years ago, assuming Iran ever had such a program, has caused consternation among neoconservatives, right-wing Israeli government officials, and Bush regime ranks.
Members of the right-wing Israeli government have denounced the NIE finding as contrary to Israel's interests. Former Bush regime official John Bolton accused America's intelligence agencies with conspiring to discredit President Bush with politicized intelligence. According to Bolton, it is US intelligence agencies, not the neoconservatives, who have their "own agenda." President Bush has promised to continue his threats against Iran regardless of the NIE finding.
The NIE finding puts Bush on the spot by bringing US intelligence up to speed with the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose director has repeatedly reported, as he did on December 4, that "the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran."
Bush has been trying to work up an attack on Iran based on a non-existent nuclear weapon program. When asked how he could be threatening World War III with a nuclear-armed Iran when US intelligence (and the International Atomic Energy Agency) cannot find evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, Bush said that "nobody told me" about the new finding-another boldfaced lie. It's the American people who have been shamed collectively by this "President", and our shame must be expressed, because the world outside the US is convinced that we have all gone mad.
Ah yes - one intelligence estimate that directly contradicts the statement of the same author a few months earlier.
The Queen of Hearts is writing your material.
The unasked question is: What is the real reason the Bush Regime is so determined to attack Iran? We now know for certain that the reason has nothing whatsoever to do with Iranian nukes any more than the US invasion of Iraq had to do with Iraqi nukes. What is the real reason that is driving the Bush Regime to seek to overthrow with military invasions the only MIddle Eastern states that are not US puppets or dependents?
Until we have the answer to this question, we cannot know why the Bush regime wasted two administrations and $1 trillion at the minimum in order to kill and maim civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bush's insane wars have seen the US dollar plummet in value, the price of oil skyrocket, American's soft power destroyed, and the hardening of opposition to the US worldwide.
What has been gained by these extraordinary sacrifices?
How can the American people and their representatives in the two parties in Congress tolerate a criminal executive branch that uses lies and deceit to lead them into illegal wars for secret reasons?
As a direct result of our invasion of Iraq, Libya completely abandoned is nuclear weapons program and we now find that Iran halted its program then too.
Both Libya and Iran acted this way because of fear of the USA.
From this point of view the invasion of Iraq was a great success, we demonstrated to potential foes that we take action.
In Iraq there is $30 trillion of oil in the ground. US companies now have contracts to exploit 80% of the oil wells until 2020 by which time we will be on our way to independence from mid-east oil, another resounding success.
At the same time we gave Iraq the opportunity to upgrade their government to democracy and in the process upgraded our own war fighting capability.
Whats not to love?
Good job pointing out the obvious. Many of the hatriots have their blinders on, and refuse to see it. Iraq is looking like a success. although there is a ways to go.
It must really burn the Bush haters to see Iraq becoming a success.
U.S. bases in Iraq will be in a good position for Hillary to attack Iran, when the time is right.
The real reason Bush may (should) want to attack Iran is to prevent us from having to experience a nuclear weapon from Iran detonated in a shipping container in the port of Oakland.
If Iraq is a success, then planet earth is flat and the Universe is 6000 years old.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Success in Iraq does not make the Earth flat, although your logic might make you think so. Success in Iraq will probably make a flat Earth seem pretty tame: A democratic scramble that actually elects it own leaders, and a rich state that drives a stake into the heart of Al Qaeda.
The surge has worked. Now it needs to be maintained and transitioned out only as Iragi forces step up, as they are doing.
Bush and Rumsfeld should be nominated for the Nobel Freedom Prize, once it gets initiated.
"The surge has worked"
Where is the expected opening up of political leadership that the surge was supposed to create?
How is it that we are trying to "liberate" a nation (if you can call it that), 65% of whose citizens wish out troops harm?
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I'll bet you're sad about the recent finding that Iran hasn't had a nuke program since 2003. That really puts a hole in the neocon strategy book, eh?
The recent "finding" is a fine example off cherry picking and further evidence that Bush should have fired everyone when he took office, and pursued every leak. I have had enough of these minicoupes.
It's turning out that very few believe the "finding". Iran's centrifuges are still whirling away.
This reminds me of when some on the City Council suggested they pass a resolution calling for the US to create a "Department of Peace" - something that a second grade student council might do. Why can't the PA city counsil members grow up?
Posted by Swami Alto: "Palo Alto is part of the world, so are City Council members. America is a land of of free speech.
"Thus, the answer is clear; let them speak."
Absolutely - on their own time. Not when they should be attending to City business - if they can see their way clear to do so!!
I note that several posters give opinions that contradict current and earlier known history. How do they get sources of information denied to the rest of us?
Someone up above suggested a re-call of the council, even though there was just an election. I don't really care which side you jump on, on this issue. But---is there no one out there who remembers when the whole council was re-called? It was horrible, hurtful, and mean. I don't think it even did much good. So, please watch where you sling your words.
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