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Sign Of The Times

Original post made by bph on Sep 28, 2008

On Sept.23rd at 11am I placed a sign in my yard to show my support for the Republican presidential candidates in this upcoming election .. by nightfall it had been taken .. Because I seriously doubt that this was just a random act of vandalism, the theft of my sign doesn't warrant as much concern as the attitude that allowed it to happen .. I'm discouraged when I consider the caliber of people who would feel justified doing this .. That ethics and morality are so unimportant to them, reflects poorly on their thinking, on their political ideology, and by extension, on their political party .. Those who believe that since there is so much at stake in this election, they may use any means available to win, should understand that those of us who differ with them are just as passionate about our love and our concern for our families, our neighbors, our country, and our world .. We do not take kindly to those who threaten our free agency .. It's scary to think that these people somehow imagine that they are better prepared than the rest of us to decide the really important issues .. It's high time they realized that few of us are .. To be well prepared we would need access to reliable information and the ability to rely on our own conscience instead of political affiliations .. good luck with that! .. In the past I have joked with my friends that If I was to place a conservative bumper sticker on my car, I would expect vandalism .. Though I halfway expected some negative response to my yard sign, I was still a bit surprised and saddened when it came .. My belief was confirmed so quickly .. I wonder what other crimes these people are willing to excuse in order to get what they want ..

Comments (41)

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 4:14 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

There is, alas, a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of a representative democracy/republic. The left is so convinced of the virtue of their position that they rationalize actions up to murder just because they are unwilling to participate in the process where you don't always get what you want.


Posted by Allow Choice In Everything, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 28, 2008 at 9:15 am

Hmmm...sounds like you both are talking about pro-life extremist Republicans.


Posted by tj, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2008 at 9:29 am



Obamas campaign is using pure Stalinist tactits in Missouri to silence truth telling and ideas they do not like see Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign's Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement Web Link

As for Palo Alto, I have a survelance camera pointed at my sign with lights and alarm, anyone taking the sign will be arrested and prosecuted in criminal AND civil court.
The civil settlement will buy me a new boat and more.

As for the McClain/ Palin sign on my car.

I park by the CCTV at the office and have alerted security.
Any one vandalizing my bumper sicker will be fired and face criminal AND civil penalties, again I am looking forward to the civil penalties for my nest egg.


Posted by Peter, a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2008 at 9:34 am

tj, that news release doesn't have any facts in it. Sounds like Blunt's just trying to blow smoke to divert attention from all his ethical problems. The reason he's not going to run again is that he's so compromised.


Posted by Corner Lot, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2008 at 9:57 am

My experience is just the opposite. The Republicans put signs in my yard without asking permission. I took them down off my own property.




Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:32 am

Ah! Let the yard sign wars begin!! I attached a "NO" on Measure N sign with two 3" nails into a fence post on my property. You'll need some pretty heavy equipment to remove it, so don't even try. I'd attach an alarm system to it also but the squirrels might set it off!!!


Posted by mary, a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:50 am



"The Stench of Police State Tactics"

If Barack Obama becomes President and takes over command of the Justice Department, it is reasonable to expect an assault on the First Amendment the like of which we haven't seen since the Jefferson administration.
Here's the latest: in Missouri, Obama has enlisted his allies in public office, including St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, to threaten criminal prosecution of any Missouri television station that runs ads about Obama that are untrue.
Since every politician sincerely believes that all ads run by his opponents are untrue, the field of potential criminal exposure is broad indeed.Web Link


Posted by urban responsibility, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:53 am

" I attached a "NO" on Measure N sign with two 3" nails into a fence post on my property. "

You mean you nailed it to the tree right next to where you bed down every night? That's not your yard, it's a local park. Make sure you pick up after yourself in the morning - carry everything out.


Posted by Pat Markevitch, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

Consider the following scenarios:

If the lawnsign was placed on the street strip, which is the area between the street and the sidewalk, it is city property and the city can remove any lawnsign placed there without warning.

It could be a couple of kids messing around.

It could be a couple of late night bar patrons having fun on their way back to their cars.

It could be someone with an opposing viewpoint.

It could be someone with your same viewpoint who wants to discredit the other side by taking it and then hoping you will post on an online forum.

You may think that some of these scenarios are far fetched but they have all happened in my neighborhood over the last five years. I know it can be upsetting when this happens, but please do a little detective work before you post inflammatory remarks that may or may not be true. This campaign is getting nasty enough on the national level. We don't need to add to it.


Posted by Freedom for all, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 28, 2008 at 11:08 am

Free speech as practiced on this forum and in your private yard seem to take the belief that the readers opinion is the only concern in passing judgment.

Therefore in Palo Alto we can conclude that readers determine what can be printed or posted in your yard. And you may only read what collective "I" approve of.

Palo Alto clearly the place of the fearful coward.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2008 at 12:42 pm

I have often wondered about the rationale of lawn signs. Are those planting the signs making a public declaration of their secret vote, or are they trying to influence neighbors and passers by to vote the same way?

I myself believe in the secret vote and prefer to keep my political views to myself. I do not want to fall out with friends and family over politics if I choose to be different from them, so why advertise and ask for trouble?

If I really wanted to influence others on my political leanings, I think there are much better ways of doing so. Whether it be for national politics or local issues, it is unlikely that a sign in my yard would make much of a difference.

Therefore, I wonder why the signs are there. If there is no practical purpose in doing so, is it really worth while? And, if someone is going against their neighbors, aren't they asking for an argument? Not that I think it is right to remove someone's sign, but by placing it there in the first place aren't they asking for political retaliation in some form or other - not by vandalism but by electioneering and politicking?

Best scenario, keep your political views private and particularly with those you don't know. If you don't wish to have controversy don't advertise and if you wish to remain in harmony with others, don't talk politics.


Posted by Sue, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2008 at 1:10 pm

IF the City REALLY wants to clean up the environment, save paper a/k/a natural resources,
and cut down on recycling, THEN BAN THESE YARD SIGNS FOREVER. The residents will thank you. Yard signs are NOT going to influence how I vote, and I doubt if it does anyone else.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 28, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Funny, I was just reading a whole discussion of yard signs a couple of days ago at the fivethirtyeight.com blog.

The point was that campaign organizers hate yard signs. Their view is that supporters want them so that they feel like they're doing something, but, in fact, it does nothing to get out the vote or persuade undecideds to your point of view.

What does? Door-to-door stumping, phone contact.

Personally, I've never got past bumper stickers--and, wow, I haven't seen any . . . the state's projected to be so blue that the Obama supporters who live here are suppose to get out the vote in Nevada.

bph, I understand you're upset, but you sound a little histrionic here--you can GET another sign.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2008 at 2:03 pm

OhlonePar,

I tend to agree that yard signs don't mean much. In fact, I think they say more by their absence. For example, all the "Yes on N" orange signs around town for the library bond are a samll percentage of total homes. I always wonder if that means that those who do NOT have yard signs are AGAINST the measure.

Nevertheless, if someone wants a yard sign, it should be his/her right to have one, and express her/his views, without a fascist underground removing them. A conservative yard sign or bumper sticker in Palo Alto is read, by the left, as license to pursue their not-so-cute little vandalisms. This is, indeed, troubling.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 28, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Gary,

"fascist underground"--oh come on. Do you have any proof that there's some organized sign-removal gang wearing black?

We have a self-report of one sign. And we don't even know why. For all we know, it blocked driver visibility.

We're not talking about voter suppression tactics in the south or, say, the Supreme Court deciding it has jurisdiciton over Florida's state laws . . . let's just say your sudden concern for the rule of law and fascism is a little one-sided.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm

OhlonePar,

Over the past two national election cycles, I have noticed that Bush signs were ripped down almost as soon as they were put up, in Palo Alto. I know several people, who had their cars vandalized, if they dared to have a Bush bumper sticker.

There is, indeed, a fascist mindset among some lefties in Palo Alto. These fascists do not choose to wear uniforms, but their beliefs are very uniform...and undemocratic. I thought I was being generous by calling it "underground"...truth be told, it is above the surface.

Your Florida comment is absurd. The Dems tried to steal that election, and the Supreme Court prevented it. Time to get over that one, OP.


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I find it amazing that anyone who has paid even a little attention during the last eight years could post a sign for anyone other than Obama without feeling defensive. Since those of you who will vote for McCain are voting to continue the world destroying momentum brought on by these people it's no wonder you watch your yard so carefully and are a bit paranoid when a sign disappears. The question that haunts me is, how can anyone vote for more war, death, debt, decline, domestic squabbling, and lies? What is in it for you?


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 28, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Gee Gary and where have you been living during the last two election cycles? In Florida? In South Carolina?

No, from the sounds of it, you've been living right around here.

So you have little idea what the political atmosphere is in other parts of the country.

My comments about Florida are from absurd. When an actual recount was done--Gore had more votes in Florida as well as the country.

Asking for a complete recount as specified under Florida's laws is NOT stealing an election. Intervening in a state matter, despite there being a long history about state's rights, to stop a recount is.

The proof is in the pudding--the Supreme Court did the bizarre thing of saying in Bush v. Gore that this decision shouldn't be applied to other cases. The whole POINT of Supreme Court decisions is that they're supposed to be used to interpret similar cases.

Why did the Supreme Court put those weird limitations on its own decisions? Because they knew it was dicey.

It was bad law then, it's bad law now.


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Oh and Gary, how can you say the democrats tried to steal the election in Florida when Gore got more votes? It is clear that Bush is the one who stole the election. What's in it for you?


Posted by Alex, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm



Surprising how many in Palo alto would like to become a suburb of Toronto

"Freedom of speech
is an American concept,
so I don't give it any value."

Dean Steacy, internet investigator
for the Canadian Human Rights CommissionWeb Link


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2008 at 5:47 pm

"When an actual recount was done--Gore had more votes in Florida "

OhlonePar,

There was a near-immediate recount and Bush still won. No matter how many full recounts were done, it was still Bush. Gore wanted to cherry pick districts, in order to steal the election, and he could not get it done in time. The Supreme Court saw through his tricks, and applied the law. Even the high stakes media-sponsored recount did not go your way. Get over it, OP. Bush won Florida, and this means he won the election.

If McCovey's line drive had not caught Ricahrdson's glove, the Giants would have won the World Series. The problem is that it did...and the hated Yankees were crowned the winner. Using your argument, OP, you would appeal to the Commissioner of Baseball, arguing that Richardson should not have been allowed to wear a glove. The Commish would have spit his tobacci juice into his cup and said, "Get outta here, boy!"


Posted by Bush did not win, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Web Link

As you see, no matter how one jobs the system in Florida to get more elecoral votes, the popular vote in this country went to Gore, who, had he become our president, would not have steered us into the cascading disasters under which we all now must labor for a long time to come. Admit it, Bush lost the vote, didn't care that Gore won, has squandered his years in the white house, and you are weirdly devoted to more of the same. But Gary, why?


Posted by yard signs, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 28, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Yard signs actually have a big impact in local elections, where they are one of the biggest forms of advertising and often viewed as quite persuasive, since in the absence of polling data, they give some indication of of how people think.

They are much less important in state and national elections, where there are other forms of advertising, polls, news stories, etc.

Mccain and Obama signs I would think would have zero impact; No/Yes on N may have some.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Bush,

Gore did win the popular vote. But he did not win Florida, no matter how much you want to lie to yourself about that fact. The electoral vote went to Bush. If the popular vote was the issue, the Bush campaign would have spent time and money to pump the vote in Texas.

In this campaign, as usual, both the Obama and McCain camps are focused on the electoral college. This explains why neither Obama nor McCain are wasting their money with advertising in California...it will go to Obama.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2008 at 6:32 pm

"Yard signs actually have a big impact in local elections, where they are one of the biggest forms of advertising and often viewed as quite persuasive"

yard,

Persuasive to whom? Two of my neighbors have orange "Yes on N" signs, but another two dozen do not have those signs. My interpretation is that most of my neighbors do NOT support "N".


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Gary, You still haven't said why you're fighting so hard for a cause that is clearly a disaster for us all.


Posted by yard signs, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 28, 2008 at 6:44 pm

I think your interpretation is unusual, Gary. Most people would look at many YES on N yard signs and very few NO on N (none that I've seen) and conclude that some of their neighbors support N and the rest have no opinion. Given that their neighbors who express an opinion support "YES," that can help swing their vote.

It's similar to name recognition as a choice driver. In elections with light advertising, name recognition - literally just thinking you recognize the name - is the number one factor that drives voting decision making. And why not - when you have little information, it doesn't take much to swing the vote.


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm

PS I believe the person who gets the most votes is actually the one with the mandate from the people. To fight over the electoral votes in Florida and do an end run in order to avoid the actual votes being counted lest it be discovered that, as in the country at large, Florida voters actually intended for Gore to be president is just mean spirited, arrogant, and, as we've seen all too clearly over these eight sad years, vapid. Why Gary, Why?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Gary says: "There is, indeed, a fascist mindset among some lefties in Palo Alto."

Gary fascists are ultra right wing. Did you mean communist mindset, communists are left wing. Better get your history of what is right wing and what is left wing straight.

Gerry says: "I believe the person who gets the most votes is actually the one with the mandate from the people." Not exactly, the electoral college has the final say on whose President, and the electoral college may end up being a majority of the States but a minority of the people who voted.


Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2008 at 8:05 pm

And what will happen when someone displays a Yes on prop 8 sign?



Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Actually you're talking about the elecoral college, which I am against. It was created in order to protect us from a problem resulting from misinformed or uneducated, and therefore easily manipulated voters. However, since the vote went for Gore, yet the electoral votes, some stolen by Bush, went to Bush, and this clearly resulted in an outcome where the least educated, most easily manipulated voters got their way, while the educated, less easily tricked ones got the shaft, I believe the electoral college is doing the opposite of what it was intended for. In the case of Bush it did not reflect a mandate from the people, as I said before. Why are you insisting otherwise? Who cares if someone 'won' when he cheated, lied, and is the worst president we've ever had?


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Gerry,

With today's technology, the electoral college is an anachronism that should be eliminated.

The reason you state is one of many, but I don't agree on your take on the cause.

As a Californian, I'd like my vote to count for something, but it doesn't in a system where both sides assume California will go Democrat, thus no reason to waste any campaign resources here.

The lack of campaigning and dissemination of information in California breeds the very misinformed and uneducated voters you chastise.

Yes, lets dump the electoral college, so my vote can have the same weight as those in the much smaller swing states. Let the candidates campaign in all 50 with resources divided by population, not based on most states "winner-take-all" for the electoral college.


Posted by bph histrionic, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:32 pm

I have enough respect for my neighbors that I tend to worry some about my own thinking when I disagree with them .. There's the difference between some of us .. As one who admittedly does not have all the answers, I would not presume to tell my neighbors or anyone else how they should vote .. However.. Thought I.. maybe it could work the other way 'round ... maybe for someone who is equally concerned with the Jr. Senator's lack of qualifications as I am, a yard sign might stimulate some critical thinking .. As an added bonus, this seeems to be distressing those who feel there is no value in considering different points of view ..... Was it my imagination, or did someone actually suggest that we leave all this hoopla for the media giants to handle rather than wasting time and resources with our own involvement?!!!


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Gerry, An infant in diapers could perform as president better than the current usurper of the job. As successor to his crown, McCain would perhaps do better, but since he has the same beliefs and policies and friends, and is as war obsessed and as arrogant, god forbid he should do the same job only more effectively, why would you wish to incite thoughtful discussion about the idea of voting for him? Anyone with a grain of concern for the welfare of those on this planet should be working to elect Obama.


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Sorry, I meant to direct my last post to bph and not to myself. To elaborate a bit on the welfare of this planet, I refer to the degradation of the environment, the millions who are currently homeless or will soon be, jobless or will soon be, have lost their retirement savings, jobs, insurance; have lost their lives or the lives of their children, husbands, wives; who are under threat of war, terrorist acts, global degradation - bph this means you, in case you somehow have not stumbled on this fact. This is an emergency of global proportions and you want to put up a yard sign? Go ahead, it's one of the few rights we have left. I will not take it down.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2008 at 7:48 am

The electoral college is here for the foreseeable future whether we like it or not. Republicans will never let it be abolished. They look at the Bush/Gore election and realize just how convenient it was for them to have the electoral college, so the result could be manipulated in favor of their Presidential candidate George W.

When Republicans lecture countries in the middle east about becoming democracies, it is so hypocritical because the U.S. is not a democracy. We have a Federal form of Government and while Bush was President during his first term, it was not democratically elected, the electoral college gave him the Presidency.


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2008 at 8:10 am

FYI

Web Link





Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2008 at 9:16 am

Resident,

I misued the term "fascist" on purpose, becasue it so often misued that it has taken on the vague notion of "bully". I am happy to see you are trying to hold up standards...most lefties toss about the term "fascist" without any knowledge of its meaning or historical context. So please allow my to substitute the phrase "leftist bullies" in place of "fascist".

Gerry,

"I find it amazing that anyone who has paid even a little attention during the last eight years could post a sign for anyone other than Obama without feeling defensive".

Those are your words, Gerry. Your true believer fanaticism makes you vulnerable to stealing lawn signs (even if have not yet done so). I suggest that you count to a hundred next time you are tempted...take a few deep breaths...then just mutter to yourself, as you go back to your home.

You don't need to worry about me stealing your Obama sign, Gerry. I think it a fundmental freedom to allow fools to be fools.

The Dems tried to prevent overseas military votes from being counted in Florida. Have the Dems no shame?

GWB will be judged by history for his liberation of Iraq, as well as his pursuit of jihadists. If these two causes turn out well, over the next several decades, Bush will rank very high.



Posted by No Whining Allowed, a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2008 at 9:16 am

Yard signs for local issues: OK - it's actually often more an advertisement for the issue itself (city council election, local prop, etc.), alerting people who might otherwise not be aware about it, than for the particular point of view it states.

Yard signs for a Presidential race in non-swing states such as CA: Not OK - says either "look at me" I'm with the winner (Obama in CA) or --- you (McCain in CA).
And if you're an --- you poster, don't bring that weak whining victimization stuff up when your sign gets taking down - accept it like a man and realize that you are saying --- you to the majority of your neighbors - so what the heck do you expect would happen?


Posted by Gerry, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2008 at 9:24 am

Actually Gary, I gave my children a long explanation, when they were offended by McCain signs in our neighborhood, about freedom of speech, and how a wonderful thing in this country is our right to express our opinions. I would never remove a yard sign, although I have none in my yard as I don't believe they are effective. I'm actually a conservative Gary, believing in small inexpensive, efficient government, hard work and education being rewarded rather than sloth on the one hand or greed on the other, but with Bush we do not have this. I do agree with you on one thing - Bush will be remembered for creating more Jihadists all over the world whom we then had to seek out and take down in order to protect ourselves.


Posted by RJS, a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:06 am

OhlonePar writes: "Asking for a complete recount as specified under Florida's laws is NOT stealing an election."

As if that was our complaint. We had no problem with a recount. We had no problem with a complete recount. We had no problem with several recounts. We had a problem extending a (yet another) recount beyond the legal deadline "as specified under Florida's laws" (yes there is a deadline as we cant have open ended recounts). We had a problem with the ever changing brand new definitions of the currently written law.

"Intervening in a state matter, despite there being a long history about state's rights, to stop a recount is."

People do not have the right to hide under the banner "states rights" when they are not willing to go by clearly written law. The Supreme court was perfectly well within its lawful rights to intervene. Taking your statement to its logical conclusion, Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is also a wrongful case of intervening in a state matter.


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