Viewpoint - October 15, 2008

Letter: McCain-Palin signs don't last on Westridge

What ever happened to free speech? I started the campaign season with one McCain/Palin sign near my mailbox. It was stolen within six hours.

Undeterred, I replaced it with two signs, one near my mailbox and one in a tree, about eight feet from the ground. The signs lasted for less than 24 hours. Indignant, I placed three McCain/Palin signs in three trees, over 20 feet from the ground. They lasted four days.

I started the campaign season as a former Hillary supporter, giving lukewarm support to McCain after he nominated a woman for vice president. I am now an angry McCain supporter, armed with a ladder and four McCain signs, ready to do battle with the liberals in my neighborhood. If neighbors can't agree to disagree in a civil manner, how can we expect our presidential candidates to do the same?

Jennifer Hammer

Westridge Drive, Portola Valley


Posted by typical, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 15, 2008 at 8:46 am

Just another example of how the liberals are the most intolerant and closed minded people on the planet.

"We love everyone, unless you disagree with our agenda".

Posted by sheesh, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:43 am

...and how McCain-Palin supporters are the most narrow-minded bigots on earth, stereotyping huge groups of people on the basis of the behavior of a single person who may or may not be a member of the maligned affinity group.

Posted by typical, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:01 am

Stereotyping is different than bigoted. I'm not limiting liberal's freedom of speech by saying that they are intolerant and closed minded.

Stealing signs IS limiting my rights by censoring my opinion through direct action.

The person stealing the signs may or may not be a member of the maligned affinity group, but a REASONABLE person could quite easily make the assumption that they are, especially in the VERY left wing Bay Area.

Posted by Libby, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Woodside and Portola Valley? Not that lefty any more. Too many billionaires per acre.

I'm more interested to find out that we have one of those mythical creatures in our midst -- a former Hillary Clinton supporter who's voting for McCain because his running mate is Palin.

It's so mind-boggling to think that this person would vote for Palin, who is completely the opposite of Clinton in terms of agenda, values, beliefs and policy. The only thing they have in common is XX chromosomes.

I voted for Hillary in the primary, and while I'm really sad she didn't win the nomination, Barak Obama's ideas, policies and values closely mirror Hillary's and I'm going to be happy to vote for him.

Posted by Sam Reshevsky, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 15, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Interesting how the author of this letter assumed the sign nabber(s) were liberal, as if that could be the only explanation for taking the signs. A bored teenage neighbor is just as likely an explanation, and with all the discontent in the conservative ranks these days (Christopher Buckley voting for Obama?!) how can one so easily assign blame? In any case, labeling the mere theft of political signs an attack on free speech devalues the latter.


Posted by Roll 'em, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I have it on good authority that the stolen signs are being used for a skateboard ramp by fiercely Republican teens who wanted to show their allegiance to their candidates by using their signs as construction material.

Posted by vandalism reigns, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm

I don't understand why liberals are blamed. Having lost two Obama signs in quick succession, and some friends report the same experience, I just chalk this up to simple vandalism. Quit the blame game on partisanship.

Posted by typical, a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Obama and his liberal elite minions are doing this to cover the fact that they are in-fact behind the McCain-Palin sign theft and censoring the republicans. Very crafty indeed.

Posted by wow, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I am a liberal and I no one told me to steal signs. I must have missed that flag burning meeting. I will say that while I don't have any desire to steal a mcpalin sign, I don't think a second life as toilet paper is out of the question.

Posted by You Betcha!, a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm

What kind of country is this when Joe-Sixpack can't even put up his "I cling to my guns and religion, so you can all kiss my a--" sign without some commie-pinko-terrorist stealing it.
Worst of all, they probably even RECYCLE it, instead of throwing it in the trash like a real American would do!

Posted by Patchouli Pinko, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:16 pm

I'm going to go find a tree to hug so I can apologize for the needless slaying of one of its brothers in order to make campaign signs.

Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:40 pm

For our local elections, if the candidate does not support unions, then those signs get stolen too.

Posted by ready to vote, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Ha! All of the Obama signs for block were stolen last week too so your point is???

Posted by where's my sign, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:35 pm

My No on Prop 8 signs have been stolen. Straight people are all bigots and thieves.

Posted by integrity matters, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:52 pm

More union bashing from Lee, I mean "Joanna". Each year signs from both sides are stolen. Most likely kids, not partisans.

FYI, Obama signs have been disappearing from West Menlo for a couple of months. A neighbor almost caught the culprits. They were teenagers in an SUV. Happened around 8:15 one evening.

Posted by Progressive Hurts, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 16, 2008 at 11:34 am

Fine with the chuckles. I deplore the theft of all campaign signs, particularly if they are on your property. Its not just an issue of trespassing and theft, but also a freedom of speech issue.

Regarding all those wide-eyed and innocent leftists out there, proclaiming "Who Me?" The answer is "Yeah you!"

If you "so called Progressives" really want to test the level of tolerance here in your community, go ahead and put a McCain bumper sticker or sign on your car and watch what happens to your car.

Heh, didn't think so. The truth hurts.

Posted by Anna, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 16, 2008 at 12:08 pm

But "Progressive Hurts," you STILL haven't answered the question of who's been stealing all the Obama signs (see above posts). Could it be the "wide-eyed and innocent leftists out there"? The "so called Progressives"? But why oh why would they want to steal signs supporting their candidate? Please explain.

Posted by McMills, a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 17, 2008 at 9:16 am


Posted by Progressive Hurts, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:19 am

But "Anna" you still haven't told us who you think would be damaging your car with a McCain bumper sticker on it in Menlo Park. Please explain.

Posted by Obama lover, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:55 am

How dare you accuse us Obama supporters of stealing signs or of intolerance. Despite Atherton being relatively "Black Free", I think it is amazing and wonderful that we support the black candidate. It is the McCain supporters that are intolerant. For what it is worth,

I think both sides of this argument are wrong. I personally observed black teens from Menlo Atherton High School (the ones that they bus in from East Palo Alto to create diversity) tearing down signs. This was right after school, in the vicinity of the bus stop where these kids wait to get bussed back home. I could not see who the signs were for, but I just wanted to correct the record, that it is not residents of Menlo Park or Atherton that are doing this.

If you are white and have an Obama sign up, you are tolerant and would gladly tolerate a neighbor having a McCain sign up. If you are white and support McCain, well that is a different story.

Posted by vandalism reigns, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Well, my Obama signs were stolen quite far away from M-A high school so I think it's ridiculous to blame blacks from EPA or Belle Haven for vandalism everywhere. Maybe the thieves are just entrepreneurs who are reselling our signs some place else. Or maybe these are just pranks.

Let's quit blaming each other for doing this to stifle free speech of folks with opposing viewpoints.

Posted by Obvious Man, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 17, 2008 at 6:57 pm

C'mon people, it's obvious what's going on around here:
Bill Ayers and the Reverend Wright are tearing down the McCain signs, while Palin and her "First Dude" are tearing down the Obama signs - and Jerry Falwell's ghost is scooping up the "No on Prop 8" signs!

Posted by Marty Arscott, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 17, 2008 at 9:36 pm

It is profoundly disturbing that we have had 3 political signs stolen or pulled up and thrown aside from the yard at our home in the past month. We totally understand that we have dear friends and neighbors who may disagree with our choice of candidates, and we strongly feel that they are entitled to their choices even if they may differ from ours. This is THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, after all, the wonderful melting pot of so many from different backgrounds and cultures who are free to have various different opinions about many things.

We work out our differences through a democratic process that hears everyone's voice – this is the foundation on which our amazingly wonderful Country was built.

Our signs happen to be for Senator Obama but we are 100% certain that Senator McCain would be equally as appalled as Senator Obama to know that people are denigrating our constitutional rights for self-expression in the midst of this election.

Martha (Marty) Arscott
David Arscott
Philip Arscott

October 16, 2008

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