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Should our city council be debating Iraq?

Original post made by Ron, another community, on Feb 6, 2007

Does anyone else think the city council talking about Iraq is a monumental waste of their time? While I'm all for people speaking their minds and voicing their opinions, a city council meeting doesn't seem the place. Do you agree?

Comments (22)

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Posted by Ace
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2007 at 2:21 pm

They need to take care of local business first and shouldn't spend much time on national issues.

However, our country's history shows that governments sometimes only respond to grass roots movements. Local city councils taking such positions across the country could create more momentum for ending this disaster sooner, rather than later, and save some precious lives. Pleasanton taking an anti-war position would be much more meaningful than some others - Berkeley for instance.

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Posted by Tom
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 9, 2007 at 4:18 pm

The city council led debate on the Iraq war is a waste of time. Is there some angle that we are missing? Have we not heard plenty of debating on the war already? Is there someone waiting for what the Pleasanton city council thinks about the Iraq war? I don't think so.

Work on solving local issues. We have horrible traffic problems, more crime in Pleasanton (have you notice that PW's crime report section is getting larger and larger?), drug sales in the schools, etc. Skip the war debate.

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Posted by Dorene Paradiso - Carroll
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 10, 2007 at 11:51 am

I have been very troubled by the City Council’s decision to conduct an open forum on the Iraq War. I do not believe that a City Council meeting is the appropriate time or place to hold such a forum. City Council meetings should focus on the many issues that are best addressed on the local level. It is most inappropriate to spend council time and resources on a discussion about national security and foreign policy.

I believe that this type of forum is of little value, and only serves to negatively impact the morale of our military personnel. These types of public forums generally attract people who want to view their opposition to the war, while those in favor are less likely to attend. This can present a very one – sided view, and one that is immediately jumped on by the media as being representative of all of Pleasanton’s citizens. I really don’t think that it is fair to our sons and daughters serving in the military, to have a city sponsored event where the end result will surely be to criticize their mission. They get enough of that from the New York Times, the L.A. times, the Washington Post, and many senators and congress members. They don’t need to hear it from us.

I am also concerned that some council members, whose views on the war are pretty well known, might use a forum such as this as a stepping stone to issuing some type of official declaration condemning the war. This may go over well in Berkeley, but let us not go in that direction.

I urge the Council to reconsider convening this forum, but at the least, do not do it as part of a council meeting, or other city venue. After all, they are not in a position to impact national policy. They should spend their time on matters that they can do something about.

Dorene Paradiso – Carroll

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Posted by Mary Perner
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 10, 2007 at 12:28 pm

The war in Iraq has specific local impacts that should be discussed...hundreds of them. The National Priorities Project has compiled dollars and cents impacts for hundreds of communities around the country which are available on-line.

Others have written about the fact that National Guardsmen deployed and redeployed in Iraq cease to be available for firefighting and assistance with other disasters in California. The shortfall in personnel must be made up in other ways with other state and local monies.

Employers of Guardsmen have traditionally expected their employees to be away for short periods of time. Now with redeployments, they are away for months and years at a time, creating considerable financial stress on employers.

Dollars invested in the war increase the size of the national debt by millions of dollars each day. Each Pleasanton child will bear the burden of that debt as they age. Each Pleasanton newborn comes into the world owing thousands of dollars due to the war in Iraq.

I could easily spend the rest of this day ennumerating local impacts., physical, financial, and moral.

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Posted by Megan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2007 at 3:59 pm

There is no distance between being an American and and Pleasanton resident. The world and nation's problems, should be just as much, if not more of a concern for Pleasanton residents. Ignoring the war in Iraq, and the Americans and Pleasanton residents who have died as a result, is a slippery slope towards apathy, and I have faith that Pleasanton residents are more compassionate and educated than that.

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Posted by Megan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2007 at 3:59 pm

There is no distance between being an American and and Pleasanton resident. The world and nation's problems, should be just as much, if not more of a concern for Pleasanton residents. Ignoring the war in Iraq, and the Americans and Pleasanton residents who have died as a result, is a slippery slope towards apathy, and I have faith that Pleasanton residents are more compassionate and educated than that.

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Posted by Ambre
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Feb 12, 2007 at 11:44 am

Once was enough Megan. Writing the same thing twice in a row is highly unneccsary. Wasn't that your opinion in last Friday's Weekly? What if everyone did the same repeats three times.? Also, I noticed that some people are afraid to take ownership for their words by omitting their last names or name altogether. Seems to me that if a person believes in what their opinion is or if they are proud of their stance on this or any other subject, they would take full ownership. How else would the public know if the message has any credibility. Anyone can talk the talk. Like you, another Pleasanton resident.

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Posted by Dora Brogden
a resident of Happy Valley
on Feb 16, 2007 at 10:11 am

Megan, Megan,
I response to your 2 postings. Your picture should be right there in the dictionary next to the word "Apathy" Because many pleasanton residents don't choose to debate the War in a City sponsored public forum hardly means they are ignoring the war! It's a little hard to ignore when you have a child or any family member deployed! Why don't you show some compassion for the many Pleasanton military
families and move to Berkely!! I have Faith you are educated enough do the right thing!

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Posted by Cosmic Charlie
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 16, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Here's the deal...If the City Council wants to debate this issue, fine, just get your work done first, and do it on your own dime. As long as Old Stanley Road (between the foot of Main St. and First St.) remains in disrepair and is in need of re-paving, I say your work is not finished, and you need to attend to the cities problems first... Not go out whining to us thru the City Council forum. GET TO WORK! and stop whining. Take care of business, that in itself seems like a big enough job for you all.

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Posted by Bruce Brogden
a resident of Happy Valley
on Feb 16, 2007 at 6:27 pm

One thing we as Americans need to remember is that the war was brought to us, not us to them. Google "terrorism" and see for yourself that Islamic terrorists have been at it since around 760 AD.
Sadam violated 16 resolutions and it was a bi-partisan vote that took us into Iraq. The beloved John Kerry, and the lovely Hillary Clinton, and the handsom Bill Clinton all agreed to go into Iraq with our president. They ALL voted for it. They ALL had the same information from the same sources. Get over it! Now that we are there DOING GOOD for the Iraqi people we need to stay the course and finish the job. There is no alternative but defeat and the death of many many American soldiers and civilians should we turn our back and cowardly leave the good people of Iraq behind as the current minority and minorly thinking left would have us do. Jane and John would be proud of you if you voted to allow that. I however have loved ones there fighting for your rights to speak for or against the war. I however think you do great harm to my loved ones, and many soldiers when you publicly speak against the war. It's as good as firing the bullet that drops our own kids in the war and "WORLD WIDE TERRORISTS THAT WANT TO KILL YOU". So, with that said, I don't think our city council has the knowledge, or expertise to intelligently speak for or against the "WORLD WAR" currently being fought on two fronts, and soon possibly three. In case you haven't been paying attention, it's the left thinking media that is causing the terrorists to think they are winning. Let's not add to that.
And Jeb Bing....shame on you. You and your paper are very biased. Why are you so afraid to print the truth? Why do you not support the people that have children in harms way? You choose not to print anything that goes against the harn this city is trying to instill against theis country and our children. You are a disgrace!

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Posted by Pam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Wow, Bruce. Your angry words are rather shocking -- especially when you are personally attacking the editor of the PW, without cause, in my opinion. I have been a loyal reader for a few years now, and have found the Weekly to be fair and balanced. There are frequently stories about military families in Pleasanton, including several homecomings of soldiers fighting in Iraq. I disagree with your politics, but respect your right to have your own opinion. I wish that you could do the same for me. Quite honestly, I don't know why you continue to torture yourself every Friday. If you are so disgusted at the paper and its DISGRACEFUL staff, don't read it. It's a free country, after all.

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Posted by Carmelita Newman
a resident of California Reflections
on Feb 17, 2007 at 5:19 pm

For those who are concerned, check out the City's Staff report for the Tue., Feb. 20 Council agenda item that will address the possibilty of a forum. Here is the link. I hope it works: The forum is not a done deal. They're just discussing the possibility of it. Further, the Staff has recommended (in the staff report) that the Council NOT proceed with such a forum but that such a forum be handled by another group, such as the Congressman's office, a CTV30 reporter, the P.Weekly, etc... Just FYI.

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Posted by Caleb
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2007 at 12:00 pm

I believe Mr. Brogden in his attack on the Pleasanton weekly, was in referrence to the fact that Mr Bing chose to not print anything in his last 2 issues regarding the huge turnout at the city council meeting Feb 6 in opposition to the proposed forum on the Iraq war. This is a huge issue for our city, why not anything in print? Sure there was a article On-line, but this does not reach the many pleasanton residents who may wish to stay informed on our local issues. I myself enjoy many of the other Weekly articles, but avoid the editors editorials as I also find them quite biased as other pleasanton residents have, and have written so in "Letters to the Editor" Yes, It's a free Country, let's keep it that way!

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Posted by Kathy Dowding
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 21, 2007 at 9:23 am

I am deeply saddened that many Pleasanton residents consider a discussion of the Iraq War as an insult to our service men and women. I do not believe the City Council planned to debate THEIR views on the war, nor would I be interested in such a debate. I understood that it was to be a forum for discussion with respect and consideration for all viewpoints - and I had hoped to learn more. I would think it would be more disheartening to our service men and women to find that we were/are not discussing this issue everyday. I do not pretend to have the answers, but I do want to be actively involved in finding some of them. And I greatly value the opinions of my neighbors, whether I agree with them or not.

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Posted by Megan, Megan
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 21, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Dora Dora, no need to get confrontational. I'll respond to your one posting. What freedom does our military and our country embody if we, at the local level, cannot freely exchange ideas and debate about major pressing national issues? I think your are confused about the definition of the word apathy and am honored to extend to you this information, which you obviously so desperately need.
Apathy is
1. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.
2. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.
Now, to help you understand how the word is used in context:
Apathy would be NOT discussing nor questioning the war in Iraq--and consequently, silently accepting the thousands of American lives this war has taken.
Now for compassion, another word which apparently baffles you:
1.a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
And in context:
Compassion is showing concern and constantly questioning at what cost we are willing to sacrifice an American life. Your picture should be in the dictionary next to acquiescent, look it up!

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Posted by Mary A.
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 22, 2007 at 7:14 pm

So, what's Ambre's last name?

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Posted by SPC Jessica Brogden
a resident of Village High School
on Feb 24, 2007 at 5:24 pm


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Posted by Christy M.
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Yes, Thank you Brogdens, for showcasing ignorance in Pleasanton.

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Posted by Tanya Schwenk
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2007 at 2:41 pm

It's very sad to see that this bulletin board intended for community comments has turned into name calling forum instead of one where people in our community can speak their minds openly witout being ridiculed or ridiculing other simply because they don't happen to agree with others opinions.

I personally believe the city council has more important LOCAL issues to focus their time on, such as public safety and maintaining Pleasanton's reputation of being a safe place for families to raise children.

However, while I feel dialogue on the war is important, it is one which should be kept outside the realm of city government. Instead, I suggest talking to your friends and families about it, start a local forum which can meet at the local library or at a hospital meeting room if you would like to discuss and debate the war issues with neighbors and other community members, but let the city council do their job, which is to oversee our community not the world. Thank you.
A concerned parent,
Tanya Schwenk

"War is costly, peace is priceless"

P.S. Here is a group I actively endorse:
Web Link

Leave My Child Alone!

A Family Privacy Project to Protect Students from Unwanted Military Recruiting.

Buried deep within the No Child Left Behind Act is a provision that requires public high schools to hand over private student information to military recruiters.

The purpose of this invasion of family privacy is to allow minor students to be recruited at home by telephone calls, mail and personal visits. If a school does not comply, it risks losing vital federal education funds.

The only way to keep your children's contact information from military recruiters is to submit an "opt-out" letter in writing to your school district's superintendent.

Section 9528 -- this little-known provision of the No Child Left Behind Act -- was originally inserted into the bill by Rep. David Vitter of Louisiana, with almost no debate in Congress. Vitter included this provision after learning from the Pentagon that many public schools maintained strict privacy policies protecting student information from being released to any outside parties, thus preventing aggressive military recruiting.

In addition, the Pentagon also recently set up a database of 30 million 16-25-year-olds, including name, address, email addresses, cell phone numbers, ethnicity, social security numbers and areas of study. This Pentagon database is updated daily and distributed monthly to the Armed Services for recruitment purposes.

In response to both of these violations to the privacy of children across the country, Mainstreet Moms (The MMOB) is coordinating the Leave My Child Alone! campaign in partnership with Working Assets and ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). The campaign, comprised of ongoing online and offline actions, is focused on the following goals:

Educate parents about the military recruiting provision of No Child Left Behind and the Pentagan database, and make it easy for parents who want to protect their childrenâ??s privacy to opt-out from these lists.
Provide tools to parent organizations to demand that their school administrators and school boards fully reveal their privacy policy and adopt methods which make it much easier for parents to protect their children.
Provide support for the Student Privacy Protection Act of 2005 (H.R. 551), a bill introduced in the House of Representatives which reverses section 9528 (opt-out) and requires schools to first obtain parental permission before releasing private student information to military recruiters (opt-in).
Facilitate community events to encourage local organizing around schools.
At the heart of this nonpartisan campaign is an online tool ( that parents and community organizers can use to identify appropriate school district officials to target with Opt Out letters, find other parents interested in working together, and support community events where like-minded parents and friends can come together to protect their children from unwanted recruiting.

If you have general questions about the Leave My Child Alone campaign, please take a few minutes to explore our Frequently Asked Questions page at:

Web Link

For more information on how you or your organization can get involved in the Leave My Child Alone campaign to protect family privacy and stop unwanted military recruiting of children, contact us.

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Posted by Tanya Schwenk
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2007 at 3:14 pm

I started a topic here to discuss the war if anyone is interested:

Web Link=

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Posted by SPC Jessica Brogden
a resident of Village High School
on Feb 25, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Oh yes, Christy I'm SOOOO damn ignorant that I'm the military and have been to Iraq already. Yeah, REALLY IGNORANT. Tell me, how do YOU think that? Don't judge me by my parents' views, I wear the flag. People like you make me feel really bad that I ever raised my right hand.

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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I think it may be time for the city council to revisit this issue. The war has been a disaster and the soldier's deaths were in vain. Iraq is as dangerous to the US today as it was in 2003, and her citizens are just as miserable, yet US troops remain.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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