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Thursday, February 27, 2003

Stop the War on Potholes!

The Houston City Council, displaying rare cluefulness, has rejected two anti-war resolutions. Most of the members say that foreign policy is outside the purview of the council.

[Mayor Lee P.] Brown agreed to put the resolutions on the council agenda after weeks of lobbying by community activists to have the city take a position on war with Iraq.


Council members opposing the resolutions said it was inappropriate for a local body to weigh in on foreign policy decisions. But supporters said such a move was entirely appropriate, because the results and cost of a war would have a direct effect on the city's finances.

Maybe they should have voted on a resolution condemning terrorism, because any terrorism in Houston will have a direct effect on the city's finances, too.

Here we see a sterling example of the governing class in full cry:

"I resent like hell that citizens are being played by the spin that this is not our jurisdiction," said Councilwoman Ada Edwards.

I'm not entirely sure what "played by the spin" is supposed to mean, but I'm guessing it means that Ms. Edwards thinks that people are unable to decide for themselves whether or not they think that the city council should spend its time debating war or devising plans for the future Katy River[*]. No, we stand around with our mouths open like baby birds, waiting for the government or the media to feed us our opinions.

There were two resolutions proposed, one which opposed "unilateral" action against Iraq (failed 9-5); the other actually encouraged Iraq to disarm, and endorsed war only as a last resort (failed 8-6).

It also called for withdrawing U.S. military forces based overseas and using the savings for such domestic programs as education and universal health care.

Feed the bunnies! Ice cream for all!

Gosh, wouldn't it be great if city councils did nothing but sit around and pass resolutions telling the federal government what to do? It would be like having thousands of tiny Congresses!

Although few said so publicly, the majority also support President Bush's policies toward Iraq.

Er, how do you know, since they didn't say so publicly?

Ken Freeland, spokesman for the Houston Coalition for Justice Not War, said council's vote had sealed Houston's reputation as a city of small-town thinkers.

Somehow, the Chronicle could not find a spokesman for the Houston Coalition for Just Fix the Damn Potholes Already.

[*] One of the plans for widening I-10 (aka the Katy Freeway) calls for making what is essentially a giant ditch, with the interstate at the bottom. Since the water table in Houston is about two inches above the surface at all times, low sections flood in even a light rain. Where are those amphibious flying cars we were promised?

InstaUPDATE: Man. Now this is the City Council of Greater Gehenna.

...the Santa Cruz [California] City Council on Tuesday night voted to launch a campaign aimed at persuading the state Legislature to oppose a war against Iraq.

In September, Santa Cruz became the first city in the country to pass a resolution to oppose a war.

Who'd have thought, eh?

I didn't realize this:

Hawaii and Maine are the only states to adopt resolutions suggesting that Bush resolve the dispute with Iraq peacefully.

Here are some other choice California quotes:

``There is growing and serious support'' for impeaching Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, said activist Sherry Conable.


``We are two weeks away from a Holocaust in Baghdad,'' said Robert Norse...He urged the council to create a ``sanctuary'' in Santa Cruz for members of the military who refuse to join the fight against Iraq.

I assumed Norse was a council member. Instead, he seems to be some sort of homeless activist, who about a year ago was ejected from a city council member for giving the mayor a Nazi salute. That link appears to be a mailing list archive. Scroll down for a story from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, which has mysteriously disappeared from their archives.

``To do something that sets us up for ridicule is counterproductive,'' Mayor Emily Reilly said.

Yet inevitable.

I've been in Santa Cruz. Nice town to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Too many potholes.

Via Rantburg.