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Political Yard Sign Wars Wage as Election Nears

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the signs-of-the-times dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 248

gollum123 writes "Yahoo has a story on how tension among bitterly divided voters is translating into a barrage of attacks on political targets that can't talk back - yard signs. Campaign signs depicting support for either President Bush (news - web sites) or Democratic challenger John Kerry (news - web sites) are being burned, chopped down, spray-painted and commonly, stolen away in the dark of night. Though sign shenanigans are common in election years, some Republican leaders are calling this year's activity unprecedented. Democratic leaders say attacks are so rampant that supporters should take their yard signs inside at night to protect them. Has anyone on /. had such an experience."

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248 comments

I hear that! (4, Funny)

fiftyLou (472705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585218)

...are being burned, chopped down, spray-painted and commonly, stolen away in the dark of night

I can sympathize. This sounds like what happened to my pot crop this summer.... well, minus the spraypaint. I never thought to bring 'em inside though - those democrats are so pratical.

Important Request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10586166)

Could everyone posting to politics please state which candidate they will be voting for on election day? I'm trying to build a list of Bush supporters.

Seen such?... (4, Funny)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585225)

Yes. However without a lawn of my own, (appartment dweller, not basement dweller) I don't worry too much about bringing in signs. Perhaps I should pick up some of those bushes that have been sprouting up in the neighborhood. Then again, perhaps it is just too much to kerry.

-Rusty

p.s. Sorry about the puns, they just seemed to appropriate.

Re:Seen such?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587147)

What did the puns seem to appropriate?

No (1, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585234)

Has anyone on /. had such an experience.

Nope, because I don't have a bush/kerry sign in my yard. Frankly I do not understand how anyone who is even halfway informed can actually support either of these two.

Oh, and "because I want to beat the other guy who is nearly identical but just slightly worse" is a pretty poor excuse for voting for a bad candidate.

Someone should go around and put up "I'm not just idly standing by and watching this country go to hell, I am actively part of the problem" signs in yards with bush/kerry signs :)

Why support them? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10585285)

"Frankly I do not understand how anyone who is even halfway informed can actually support either of these two"

Because, unlike you, they are informed of the fact that one of the two men will surely win. There are at least some differences between them, and anyone informed on the issues will prefer one of them over the other.

False conflict masquerading as serious discussion. (5, Insightful)

I am Jack's username (528712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586063)

Douglas Adams, So long, and thanks for all the fish, chapter 36:
"It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"
"No", said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd", said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did", said Ford. "It is."
"So", said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them", said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
"Oh yes", said Ford with a shrug, "of course".
"But", said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in.

Power to you if you think voting for the lesser evil is actually reversing the downward spiral tho.

Re:False conflict masquerading as serious discussi (0, Troll)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586876)

Reverse the downward spiral? That's impossible at this point; the best we can do is slow it down. Hence, voting for Kerry.

But go ahead and vote for a third party. In a few decades our country will be ruined, but hey, at least we'll be able to vote outside of Republicrat lines!

Rob

Re:Why support them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10586265)

and yet its a self fullfilling prophecy.

the only reason one of those two will win is because people vote for them "because one of them will win, and i like one of them even less than the other"

as jon stewart said:
"people voting for anyone but bush now have a reason to vote for kerry" -- the night of the first debate when he actually did pretty well in the debate

it is pretty sick that people think voting for one of these two will lead to anything better in our country.

nader in 2004 (and no that isnt a vote for bush, because i would have never voted for kerry, EVER)

Re:No (3, Insightful)

CodeWanker (534624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585353)

Actually, the differences are enormous in many important areas. In fact, about half the important areas. Your being only halfway informed explains why you can't see it.

Re:No (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585425)

In what areas will the be different? Seeing as how Kerrry has yet to introduce a single bill into the Senate to make the changes he says need to be made...

Re:No (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586043)

But what about World Population Awareness Week? How can we,as a country, function without World Population Awareness Week?! Won't someone please think of the children? (Or, maybe, _don't_ think of the children?)

Without Kerry's heroic support of this oft-ignored problem, we wouldn't celebrate this wonderful event every year. I've already got my Birth Control tree and am decking it out with condoms, diaphragms and alcohol-free beer.

Re:No (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586130)

Name some. Bonus points if you can name an actual important difference in something they will actually DO, not just talk about during campaign. I would love to know how these two party owned, spoiled rich, skull n bones, yale frat boys differ meaningfully.

Finkployd

Re:No (-1, Flamebait)

stevew (4845) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586378)

That one is EASY - Kerry will raise taxes, Bush won't. They have both said this REPEATEDLY.

Re:No (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10586847)

Bush will raise national debt, Kerry would try to reduce it.

Your point?

Kerry will raise national debt....more (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10586977)

"Bush will raise national debt, Kerry would try to reduce it."

Bush will raise national debt. Kerry will raise it more. He plans on spending a lot more than Bush plans to spend. On top of that, he will raise taxes, which will clobber the economy and result in a slowdown, and lower tax revenues in the end.

Re:Important difference between the two. (1)

Tye_Informer (412478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586584)

Kerry will raise taxes for the next 4 years. Bush will cut taxes for the next 4 years.

That is what they have said they will do, and that is what they will do. It is a difference and it is important. Before I get attacked by either side, let me point out that Finkployd asked the question and I answered it. I am not saying that raising/cutting taxes is a good/bad/fantastic/idiotic idea. I am simply saying Kerry will raise taxes (In the debates he said he will, wants to, and getting elected will get him the clout to do it) and Bush will cut taxes (He already has, said in the debates he wants more cuts, and being reelected will get him the clout to do it).
If you can see no other differences between the two (there are quite a few others) and believe one or the other will be elected then you can be a single issue voter.

Re:Important difference between the two. (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586751)

Actually no, neither will raise or lower taxes. Congress will (or will not). It is completely meaningless what both of them are saying, they will only submit butgets and approve or veto what congress passes.

Re:Important difference between the two. (1)

Tye_Informer (412478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587148)

Actually no, neither will raise or lower taxes. Congress will (or will not).

You're right. The person we elect will not make any difference at all. I'm not sure why we even vote for anyone in the executive branch. They are all simply puppets to the legislative branch. They have no real power.
they will only submit butgets and approve or veto what congress passes.

What is that veto thing?

Re:Important difference between the two. (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587271)

You're right. The person we elect will not make any difference at all. I'm not sure why we even vote for anyone in the executive branch. They are all simply puppets to the legislative branch. They have no real power.

Read up on how checks and balances work, you seem to have missed a civics class somewhere.

The point is, Mr Let's-Take-Fink's-Comment-To-An-Illogical-Extreme, neither can claim they WILL or WILL NOT raise taxes, since it is not completely in their power. They will work with Congress to do one or the other but frankly even what they intend is subject to change if economic circumstances change.

Finkployd

Re:Important difference between the two. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587641)

He was being sarcastic, you silly penis.

Re:No (1)

CodeWanker (534624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586862)

Others have mentioned the taxes. How about this one: Bush will conduct an offensive campaign against rogue states and terrorist organizations, while Kerry will only respond to attacks against us? Kerry sees the bombing of the USS Cole, the World Trade Center (at least the first one, maybe both), Khobar Towers, and our African embassies as "a nuisance" (his words, not mine.) while Bush sees them as acts of war against the United States conducted by rogue states using terrorist groups as proxies.

Or how about this one: Bush won't rely on approval of the corrupt and dictatorial-regime-supporting UN (France, Germany and Russia getting Oil-for-Food kickbacks from Saddam to block us in the security council is BIG NEWS.) and Kerry will use these same thieves and fools as a litmus test to decide whether or not we should use our armed forces to defend ourselves. In 1994, discussing the possibility of U.S. troops being killed in Bosnia, he said, 'If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no.' " link to story. [washingtonpost.com]

Kerry will guide our course in the world based primarily on input from people who want to see America weaker, who happily accept bribes from mass-murdering dictators, and who would rather not see the 50,000,000 million Muslims that We have liberated in the past three years... uh... liberated. How's that for a start?

Re:No (2)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587144)

And on the same token he will continue to wage war on the constitution by not only crap like the Patriot act, but pushing for EVEN MORE with Patriot II. He will continue to suppress findings [theregular.org] and reports that the CIA assembled regarding 9/11. His speaking skills will continue to degenerate to where he cannot express himself at all.

Look anything good you can say about Bush can be easily countered with all the bad crap he has pulled. I voted for him once, as the lesser of two evils. Also because I mistakenly believed he was a conservative, but his irresponsible deficit spending cured me of that misconception.

And of course for many of the reasons you outlined, Kerry is no better. Since I do not feel strongly enough that either of these two should be president, I will vote for the 3rd party candidate who I most agree with.

Finkployd

Re:No (5, Insightful)

BaldGhoti (265981) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585534)

You know what? I'm really sick of ignorant people saying "both candidates suck, I shall weep".

I'm a fairly moderate Democrat, and you know what? Kerry doesn't suck. Neither did Al Gore. Neither did John McCain. I happen to really dislike George W Bush, but if I was a fairly hardcore right-wing conservative, I'd imagine I'd be pretty pissed to hear you say that he sucks.

Are they perfect, flawless, shining crystals of purity? No, they're mother-effing human beings who are probably trying to do what they feel is right, most of the time. (That is, when they aren't compromising to reach consensus. Yes, it happens. No, it's not bad.)

I'm sick of reading bitchy posts and hearing bitchy comments about how "oh, all the candidates are bad", and "I'm not going to vote". If you really feel the candidates are that bad, go to the polls anyway. Write in a vote for "NONE OF THE ABOVE", or maybe even the third party candidate of your choice. Badnarik, Nader, whoever--votes for those guys are how the parties realize they need to appeal to those platforms.

If we as young voters all pitch in and at least make an EFFORT to vote (even if they're throwaway votes for Nader or something), then our power as voters goes up. Then, maybe candidates will talk to the 18-28 demographic rather than blathering on about health care. (That sort of talk is all very well and good for Grandma but generally not too important to a 24-year-old.)

So go take a civics class or something and stop your complaining.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10586268)

Speak for yourself, young [person].

Parent poster never used the word "suck". Nor did parent poster advocate not voting.

So maybe it is you who needs to calm down and stop complaining (and assuming and generalizing and putting words in the mouths of others). It is my experience that the people who complain the most about the two party "duopoly" are the ones most likely to vote third party... and who are very likely to do so without your encouragement (and even more likely to do it in spite of the active discouragement and disenfranchisement coming from your own political party).

And that's all the time I have for you.

Re:No (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586690)

You know what? I'm really sick of ignorant people saying "both candidates suck, I shall weep".

I never said that. Both candidates suck, I shall vote for neither. I voted for what I believed to be the lesser of two evils last time and look where that got us. I'm not doing it again.

I'm a fairly moderate Democrat, and you know what? Kerry doesn't suck. Neither did Al Gore. Neither did John McCain. I happen to really dislike George W Bush, but if I was a fairly hardcore right-wing conservative, I'd imagine I'd be pretty pissed to hear you say that he sucks.

I'm a socially liberal, fiscially conservative kinda guy, Kerry sucks in my opinion. Don't ever get me started on Edwards. Gore sucked (clipper chip anyone? he was its primary cheerleader). I like McCain, but I doubt he would ever get the republican nod (maybe as VP).

I know a lot of fairily right wing conservatives who agree about george bush. Many of them are voting for Kerry (there is a fairily strong [republican...erry04.com] republicans for Kerry [republicansforkerry.org] campaign). Why? Because Bush is not a conservative. His reckless deficit spending is not what being a conservative is about. His pissing on the constitution with the patroit act and terrorism fear mongering is not what being a conservative is about.

Are they perfect, flawless, shining crystals of purity? No, they're mother-effing human beings who are probably trying to do what they feel is right, most of the time.

Yes, and what they feel is right seems to be "maintain the status quo, never change anything about the system that gives us power, money, and control", just like seemingly everyone in DC these days. If anyone running for president actually cared about making the system better there would be talk of "instant runoff voting", "campaign finance reform", or "balance budget amendments". None of them want to talk about these things, not because they would be bad for the country (they would be good), but because they would be bad for their political career and power.

I'm sick of reading bitchy posts and hearing bitchy comments about how "oh, all the candidates are bad", and "I'm not going to vote". If you really feel the candidates are that bad, go to the polls anyway. Write in a vote for "NONE OF THE ABOVE", or maybe even the third party candidate of your choice. Badnarik, Nader, whoever--votes for those guys are how the parties realize they need to appeal to those platforms.

That is actually what I am advocating. I think you got me confused with someone who is proposing we all just forget about the vote and sit home and smoke pot and complain :)

If we as young voters all pitch in and at least make an EFFORT to vote (even if they're throwaway votes for Nader or something), then our power as voters goes up.

I don't prefer nader myself, but in my opinion the only wasted vote is a vote for someone you don't actually believe in. Once it became normal to vote for the lesser of two evils, we as a population sent the message: "we are perfectly willing to vote for evil, just as long as you distract us with unimportant crap like swiftboat veterens, fake cbs memos, marriage amendments, and mysterious earpieces so that we know which evil we dislike more".

So go take a civics class or something and stop your complaining.

That is truly amusing on a couple of levels. I've found the more involved in civics you are (let's just say I am involved ;), the more effectively you can complain and the more you find to complain about. Complaining does not mean giving up. Pointing out absurdity and corruption is complaining, would you have us not do that?

Finkployd

Even if you like neither candidate... (2, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585920)

How about just getting opposite parties in Presidency and Congress. History sez that the nation generally (not always, but generally) does better when the Presidency and Congress are NOT from the same party.

I'll make no attempts to comment on any merit past that one point, in an effort to keep this short.

Re:Even if you like neither candidate... (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586154)

Honestly, that is the first good reason to vote for one or the other I have heard yet. Although how telling is it that in order to get a better government we need to strive for political gridlock that results in them doing less.

Finkployd

Re:Even if you like neither candidate... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587869)

And what's wrong, conceptually, with the government doing less? We've had King Log, and we've had King Stork. I prefer King Log any day.

Yard signs affected kids parade (1)

isn't my name (514234) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585978)

My local newspaper had a recent story where invitations to an annual kids bike parade were only handed out to those with the proper local political yard signs. [nwitimes.com]

This local election is a court ordered primary occurring next week that resulted when a challenger to the local mayor and kingpin of the political machine showed in court a number of irregularities in polling and particularly absentee ballots. These irregularities are in the old-style Chicago tradition. (Town is E. Chicago in Indiana.) There are currently a number of current and former town and party officials under federal indictment for vote buying in the 2000 election by using town money to pour concrete driveways for citizens.

Torn up political signs is so insignficant that I doubt it would even get a mention in our paper.

Re:No (1)

firephreek (752523) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586196)

Get yourself informed, there's plenty of difference between the two. I'll do my best not to preach my opinion about which canidate you should vote for and why, but at the very least, you need to understand that by not voting, you too are part of the problem. You can't just say, "I didn't vote for either of them, it's not my problem.". This is a public office in your country. It's a responsibility we all have to get informed and make an intellegent decision about which man is going to take us through the next 4 years. You DO NOT get points for apathy.

It's fine with me. (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585264)

As long as they are advertising by yard signs, and not spam, it's pretty good. No having to face emails every morning with titles like: EN:LARGE::TAXX:CUTS:VOTEBUSH and IN:CREASE:NATIONAL:PRESTEEJ:VOTEK3RRY

My car (4, Funny)

mpost4 (115369) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585315)

I have Bush stickers on my car, and my car has been vandalized when ever I take it out.

Re:My car (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585387)

Do you have an proof of this, like digital pics?

want proof? (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585732)

Try putting a Bush bumper sticker on your car.

Re:want proof? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587851)

No, I want proof. I see posts on Freerepublic and DemocratUnderground all the time claiming that their property was damaged because of the stickers/signs they had on it yet they NEVER have any pictures or copies of insurance records/police reports.

IOW, I think people are lying.

Re:My car (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586034)

I can believe it. A friend of mine, who has pro-Kerry stickers on her car, has had her car "keyed" as a result.

Amazes me how polarized things have become. BTW, I'm somewhat shocked your comment's been modded "funny". Insult added to injury.

Re:My car (2, Insightful)

4of12 (97621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587055)


Amazes me how polarized things have become.

I can believe it.

Vehement uninformed opinion rules the AM radio these days.

Plus, marketing tests have shown that mud-slinging attack ads work. So we get more of them.

Anger and fear drive many voters. That's why there's so much of it around.

So far, my sign has survived (3, Interesting)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585356)

To demonstrate my support for my preferred presidential candidate, I went by the local headquarters and made a donation and picked up a yard sign. I put it out with some trepidation, since I knew that mine was the only sign of its type in my neighborhood: there were about a dozen signs for the opposition in yards I pass on the last two miles of my trip from work to home, and not one like mine for at least five miles that I had spotted.

Happily, my sign has stood proudly in the yard, untouched by anyone else, as far as I can tell. During that time, more signs for the opposition have sprung up, and only one for the same candidate as mine.

On the other hand, the local news apparently carried a story about a local whose signs had been repeatedly stolen. So she put one up and hung a sign underneat it that said "Every time you steal my sign, I make a bigger donation to my candidate." That apparently stopped the rascals from stealing any more signs.

Finally, I have watched with interest the signs people put up in the median of the road, on what is clearly public land. It appears to me that people find it acceptable to put their own signs on that land, and also that others find it acceptable to take down a sign and put up their own opposing sign. I've never seen anyone taking one down, however, so perhaps it is the state authorities coming along and cleaning up their land.

Re: So far, my sign has survived (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585696)


> To demonstrate my support for my preferred presidential candidate, I went by the local headquarters and made a donation and picked up a yard sign. I put it out with some trepidation, since I knew that mine was the only sign of its type in my neighborhood

Ah, a Nader supporter.

Easy solution (0)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585378)

Booby trap them.

Re:Easy solution (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587493)

Axactly!

After my Kerry sign was vandalized three nights in a row and then finally stolen, I decided to do something about protecting its replacement. Enter the Scarecrow [scatmat.com].

It's a motion-activated sprinkler. Anyone who comes near my sign now gets blasted with water. It's hilarious.

I Never Saw... (2, Insightful)

GypC (7592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585388)

... the point of yard signs, anyway. I mean, who is that going to influence?

Man, there is going to be some wailing and gnashing of teeth this year if Bush wins again. No president has been hated more since Lincoln, it would seem.

Re:I Never Saw... (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585674)

I asked this question of a campaign organizer for a local election. She said that weird as it sounds. studies have shown that these signs have a large impact.

I'd guess it has something to do with the way people take their cues from others around them in weighing how safe a decision is. When the weakly committed voters go into the booth, they are less likely to falter if they feel others are with them. When the undecideds vote, that same sense of confidence is going to make it easier to jump to a candidate that has wide apparent support.

Re:I Never Saw... (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585791)

It's also just a name recognition thing. It's been shown people are more likely to vote for someone when they are innundated with their name. I remember in the 2000 election, it was like a contest to see who could occupy the most space on the medians. You've seen that Family Guy when Lois and Peter run against each other and have red/blue signs covering their front yard? That's what half the medians looked like.

--trb

"You are either with us or against us." (0, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586149)


sig: "Every nation that seeks peace has an obligation to help build [a freer] world." - GW Bush

Your forgot the other sentence: "You are either with us or against us." Which means, in this case: "We will bomb you if you are against us." Typical polarized alcoholic [futurepower.org] thinking.

Does killing Iraqis set them free? Or does it de-stabilize the country and invite hundreds of thousands of supporters for terrorists? The U.S. government did the same thing to Cambodia, and the country stayed destabilized for decades. Millions of people died after the U.S. government stopped bombing. There is plenty of evidence that this will happen in Iraq.

No... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10586464)

" "You are either with us or against us." Which means, in this case: "We will bomb you if you are against us."

No, all it means is you are with us or against us. Nothing more. The "bombing" thing comes from your own imagination. Or do you have secret knowledge that Bush bombed France, which was "against us"?

"Does killing Iraqis set them free?"

No, but removing the dictators that oppress them does.

"The U.S. government did the same thing to Cambodia, and the country stayed destabilized for decades."

You are forgetting your Southeast Asian history. North Vietnam invaded Cambodia and used it as a base for its war against South Vietnam. They were the ones who widened the conflict into Cambodia.

"Millions of people died after the U.S. government stopped bombing"

Yes, as a direct result of the occupation by mainland China (Pol Pot) and the North Vietnam occupation which followed. Only these parties were to blame.

Re: I Never Saw... (2, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585779)


> No president has been hated more since Lincoln, it would seem.

Johnson? Nixon? Reagan? Clinton?

Re: I Never Saw... (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586724)

Clinton?

Clinton was easily re-elected and enjoyed high approval ratings until the end (the last was 65%). Though there was (and still is) a small group of people with an inexplicable hatred of both Clintons, there's no comparison between Bush and Clinton.
I mean, check out the latest Gallup report [gallup.com].

Re:I Never Saw... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586544)

Man, there is going to be some wailing and gnashing of teeth this year if Bush wins again. No president has been hated more since Lincoln, it would seem.

The nation hasn't been this divided since the 60's. No matter who wins, the result will be 49% of the population telling the other 51% of those who bothered to vote how things are going to be (taking into account third-party voters, of course).

Re:I Never Saw... (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586714)

there is alot to be said about perceived homogeneity within a neighborhood. once one person puts up a sign, others of the same type begin to follow more easily. and opposing signs tend to be fewer for fear of not fitting in. most neighborhoods lean heavily one way or the other, at least around here. so yeah, unsure people want to feel like they fit in, so they vote signs.

ever notice how some areas have really nice lawns?
lots of flowers in planters on the front steps?
an antique something made of iron in the front yard?
people hanging out on the front porch?

the desire to fit in, perceived homogeneity, many people do what they *think* they are supposed to do.

over the holiday season, take note of who puts up decorations and the amount. i bet you dollars to donuts the more socially active/popular people will have the most.

Wife heard a good one on Al Franken's show... (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585400)

A homeowner looked out and saw a man lying face down on his driveway. Going out to check, he found that the man was unconscious, so he went back in and called 911. When the rescue crew moved the man, they found him clutching Kerry (and other Democratic) signs under his body. His car was parked nearby, and they found more stolen Democratic signs in it. He was removing them, not placing them.

Apparently he'd been removing signs in this neighborhood, and was going to cross the driveway when he tripped over a chain the homeowner had there for some unknown, but presumably logical reason. Since he was clutching the signs, he couldn't quickly get his arms out front to break his fall, so he hit his head and knocked himself out.

The police charged him with numerous petty crimes. His wife said, "He's never done anything like this, before."

Given that this is the good old US of A, I'm surprised he hasn't sued the homeowner for having that chain there.

Re: Wife heard a good one on Al Franken's show... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585733)


> A homeowner looked out and saw a man lying face down on his driveway. Going out to check, he found that the man was unconscious, so he went back in and called 911. When the rescue crew moved the man, they found him clutching Kerry (and other Democratic) signs under his body. His car was parked nearby, and they found more stolen Democratic signs in it. He was removing them, not placing them.

I vaguely recall hearing on the news a couple of years ago that some local candidate got caught personally removing his opponent's signs.



Re: Wife heard a good one on Al Franken's show... (1)

neomac (97478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587743)

That actually happened in my neighborhood last year, for the school board elections, and it was the son of the incumbent who was caught. By the challenger.

He can't (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586371)

If it is the kind of chain I think it is then it is like those security barries of rope. The chain accross the driveway as a very cheap fence.

If it is done properly you can't stumble accross it unless your trying to climb over it. If you didn't see it you would simply be stopped by it around your waste.

So if he claimed he hadn't seen it he would simply have walked into it the same as any rope barrier. If he had seen it and was climbing over it then he is trespassing on purpose and this is like a burglar cutting himself on barbed wire fence.

No not even in the US would this work. Mind you if the chain is at ankle height and in the dark accross the path to the door it is another story.

billboard messages also (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585487)

When driving to work, I pass a yard with one of those rentable billboard signs (the ones with the movable type). Flourenscent green and red letters nonetheless. It feels as if someone is shouting.

Re: billboard messages also (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586112)


> When driving to work, I pass a yard with one of those rentable billboard signs (the ones with the movable type). Flourenscent green and red letters nonetheless.

Maybe they're planning ahead: after the election they can just change it to a Christmas message.

Plagarism (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10585502)

Gollum123 writes "Slashdot is carrying a story on how I'm unable to actually create a story write-up, and instead pass off the text of the article itself (INCLUDING non-functioning link descriptions) as my own. Has anyone on /. had such an experience?"

Quite the opposite (2, Interesting)

secondsun (195377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585511)

I have the opposite problem, people keep putting signs UP in my yard. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact the candidate they are pushing I really don't like on a personal level. So far II have a stack of 3 in my garage and a new one pops up every 2 - 3 days.

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585872)

Have you called the local party office for whichever party keeps popping up? I pass them out here and if the person on the list isn't home we just throw them up in the yard. Its possible that your name somehow got on their list and they aren't bothering to check if its ok with you. Unlikely, but still possible

Identity Crisis (3, Insightful)

(SM) Spacemonkey (812689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585518)

The relationship between a political party and its supporters is at time a troublesome one. I firmly believe that you should support a party only so long as you share idealogies with them. However some people support parties so wildly, and believe so strongly that the political party starts becoming part of their identity. As such an attack on that party, is viewed as a personal attack. We see this in soccer hooliganism in europe. Think about yourself, do you think of yourself as a "republican" or a "democrate" or do you merely support certain ideas of the that party. Of course, political parties encourage this sort of behaviour. It allows them to change their views and still remain supported.

Also in this election has been billed as of the highest importance. The very course of human existence depends on the result in November. I am very concerned about the election result this year, but not at the extent of destroying private property, or otherwise resorting to violence. I may be underestimating the importance of this election, but if Bush wins, its only for four years.... This is a truism, regardless of whether you are the furtherest right conservative or the left enough to make Ghandi blush.

Re:Identity Crisis (1)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586161)

I am independent on all issues in that I consider all ideas and each side of an issue. I choose what I be the best for the whole. My brother is a conservative to the bone and tells me that I should pick a team. I won't because I believe doing so will cause me to miss half of the good ideas out there.

-Slashdot Junky

Re:Identity Crisis (1)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586742)

Its worse in some places, where sports teams and political parties are very much affiliated. I don't think its generally true in the USA that Team X's supporters are democrats and team Y's are republicans. Here in Israel it very much is, or at least used to be. The Hapoel teams are very much affiliated with the labor party and the Beitar teams with the Likud and so on. This is true for much of Europe, and was much more true at least in Israel back in the 50's. I remember an article about it saying that the only way a Hapoel Jerusalem team would root for Beitar Jerusalem was if they were playin the Wermact vetrans team. And then only just. OK thats a bit of an exaduration, but only a bit.

Even the little candidates can play... (2, Informative)

ThatTallGuy (520811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585556)

I'm a candidate for State Representative -- pretty low on the food chain in NH, there are 400 of them -- and even some of my signs are vandalized or stolen.

A couple of big 4x8 BC04 signs have been spray-painted with "LIARS" and "1000 DEAD" and they're now covering them with plastic wrap hoping the spray painters will be foiled (sorry) and the signs protected.

More commonly, Kerry signs are seen to metamorphose into BC signs overnight.
--
Tom Barringer
Candidate for State Representative in Derry, NH
www.ThatTallGuy.net

Re: Even the little candidates can play... (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585846)


> A couple of big 4x8 BC04 signs have been spray-painted with "LIARS" and "1000 DEAD" and they're now covering them with plastic wrap hoping the spray painters will be foiled (sorry) and the signs protected.

Greatly offending the anti-birthcontrol crowd, no doubt.

Re:Even the little candidates can play... (1)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587105)

Any candidate that posts on Slashdot is someone worth considering. I don't live in your state, but good luck to you Tom.

bumper stickers (3, Funny)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585682)

Any of my friends that put a Bush bumper sticker on their car has had the car keyed multiple times.

Re:bumper stickers (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585959)

My car got keyed right after my wife put a Kerry sticker on the bumper.

Re:bumper stickers (2, Insightful)

jlanthripp (244362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586366)

So, as you and the parent poster have observed, there's certainly no shortage of vitriol on either side this time around.

It's a shame when both sides of a political contest are incapable of constructive debate, or even of keeping it to the level of name-calling. When did my fellow Americans lose their ability to support their political candidates without resorting to sophomoric attacs on their opponents?

Re:bumper stickers (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587028)

In recent times, the hatred seemed to really boil over during the Clinton years.

Somewhere else someone mentioned Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton. I was around, but not politically aware for Johnson, and becoming politically aware for Nixon. I remember Viet Nam protests, and I remember vitriol directed toward Nixon during Watergate. But none of it seemed to be the personal-level HATRED that seemed to be directed toward Clinton, though I'll admit that I may not have fully appreciated the Johnson and Nixon years.

The Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush-I years do seem like the civil old days, though.

On the side, I'll bet if Clinton had made *every single decision* the exact same as Bush-II, he would have:
a: Never gotten assent from Congress to do half of it.
b: Been dragged through the mud for whatever did work, if not impeached.

Clinton would have been held responsible, and NAILED for allowing 9/11 to happen. No 'failure of imagination' excuse for him.

Clinton would never have been allowed to take this much of the government into secrecy.

Clinton would have been impeached, found guilty, and removed from office for the Iraq war, and rightfully so.
a: We *knew* 6-12 months before the war that the DOD and White House were cherrypicking their intelligence and sources. It was well-reported on at least NPR.
b: The disgrace of Abu Graib is a direct result of the cloak of secrecy adopted by the Bush Administration. The cloak drops to the floor, it can't just hide the Man at the top. That means you can't just trust a few, you've got to trust them all, when you allow your government to go secret.
c: The planning - it came out in the first days of the invasion that the Neocons "expected Iraq to spontaneously organize into a Reagan-style free-market democracy," as soon as Saddam was deposed.
d: The planning - based on the flawed assumption (c) the pricetag (troop count) was lowered, which also presumably made it easier to sell the War, with today's Mess-o-potamia results.
NONE of this was rocket science. NONE of this is new news. The ONLY surprise is that nothing has boiled over yet, outside of Iraq. There were plenty of humor/protest assertions to that effect, prior to the War even starting.

You have no credibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587101)

You definetely lost all credibility once you started to refer to the "neocon" conspiracy. "Clinton would have been held responsible, and NAILED for allowing 9/11 to happen"

He is just as responsible as Bush. After bin Laden had engaged in terror attacks against the U.S., the Sudan offered bin Laden to Clinton. Clinton REFUSED to take him into custody.

None of what you claim is "news". In fact, much of what you claim is made up.

Re:You have no credibility (3, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587583)

I never mentioned a 'neocon conspiracy'. There never has been a conspiracy. The neocons have been completely above board about their agenda, and it has been fully reported on the news.

Clinton answered the Sudan point. At the time, the offer did not appear credible, or at least sufficiently credible to pay whatever price the Sudanese were asking. BTW, Clinton said that the cruise missile attack on Afghanistan was the most he felt he could get away with, at the time. Even so, he was accused of wagging the dog.

As for sources for my facts, I made nothing up.
a: NPR interview with CIA people.
b: OK, this is my opinion, but the secrecy of the current administration is well reported in the news.
c: Another NPR interview.
d: Partly logical extraction, partly current news about generals' estimates of required troop strength, partly pre-war comments by a friend in the Guard about required troop strength AND duration estimates.

I'm sorry that I use NPR and BBC as my primary news sources. But I don't plan on changing to Fox News. From what I see and hear, in the news and on sites like Slashdot, the Left in the US might well be slightly right of Center in the rest of the world. I see no need to add further Rightward bias to my sources.

Re:You have no credibility (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587737)

Just mentioning the "neocon" shibboleth (or meaningless buzzword) shows you buy into the conspiracy.

"I'm sorry that I use NPR and BBC as my primary news sources. But I don't plan on changing to Fox News"

You should consider it. It has a reputation for being less biased, and being more centrist. NPR and BBC are both official government media organs, and thus are encouraged to have a strong left-wing bias: it tends to be left-wing governments that favor wasting more money on official government media.

"I see no need to add further Rightward bias to my sources."

No one has yet mentioned any rightwing sources. The American left is still left wing: definitely to the left of the true center.

Re:bumper stickers (2, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587686)

When did my fellow Americans lose their ability to support their political candidates without resorting to sophomoric attacs on their opponents?

That would be when George Washington chose not to run for a third term.

At least noone is threatening to secede from the Union if this election goes the wrong way.

Teenagers on the loose (2, Insightful)

cyranoVR (518628) | more than 9 years ago | (#10585721)

When I was in middle school, I used to hear kids bragging to each other all the time about how many signs they had trashed/stolen (I lived in Texas at the time, so they happened to be trashing Clinton/Gore or Dukakis/Benson signs).

Now we have SMS, IM and email to make things more organized, so it's happening more frequently. Big whoop. I really doubt that some local party boss is ordering his foot soldiers to go out and round up opposition signs. I'm sure they've got better things to do.

Make Money Fa$t! (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586131)


I wonder if you could get rich by printing up a bunch of "Neener, neener!" or <Nelson>Ha, ha!</Nelson> signs for one side or the other to put up the day after the election.

RAH had it right (4, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586295)

Robert Heinlein had it right - you can tell a society is on the skids when basic politeness is viewed as weakness, and rudeness is viewed as strength. /me looks around pointedly at the /trolls

It never ceases to dismay me how people can scream about how *their* right of "free speach!" is being infringed, and then turn right around and infringe upon the free speech of others.

Supporting the speech of those with whom you agree is NOT supporting free speech. Supporting the right of speech of those with whom you vehemetly disagree IS supporting free speech.

You may feel that Candidate Epsilon-1 is perfection incarnate, and that Candidate Epsilon-2 is distilled evil - if you go around taking down signs for Epsilon-2 you are NOT supporting democracy.

No has touched my Bush, Kerry, or HULK lightboad (1)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586426)

I have a "Bush, Kerry, HULK" lightboard out as part of the halloween webcam [komar.org] that so far has been unscathed (famous last words). Maybe have The Incredible HULK [komar.org] looming over the display has discouraged would be vandels (?)

And oh yeah, since I allow you to "vote" for a candidate at the above web site, the current vote tally's are
HULK: 6,380 BUSH: 6,214 KERRY: 6,049

So looks like our next president might be Green!

Vote Hulk? (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586515)

Vote for the Hulk? Let me guess: he's on the Green Party ticket. I wonder what his stand is concerning atomic testing.

Weird Experiences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10586623)

The first week after I had placed a Senatorial candidate's sign in the front yard, it mysteriously showed up lying on my porch every morning. After a persistent struggle to keep it in my yard, the person doing it gave up.

Last night someone apparently took the time to beat the #%!&* out of my Presidential yard sign. I found it mangled in the yard, where other opposition signs in the neighborhood had apparently been left untouched.

When I went to the local headquarters of the party whose candidate I am voting for, I asked for two Presidential signs. I was told that because of radicals from the other party taking many at a time and burning them, I could only take one per day.

I am really saddened by the obvious disrespect for democracy by some people in my neighborhood.

He hates these signs! (2)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10586660)

In my neighborhood, a wealthy neighborhood of Austin TX, the Kerry signs such as the one in my yard are the targets. It's been knocked over twice, but I just put it back up. The Bush signs aren't touched here.

Apparently in other parts of Austin, it's not as safe to have a Bush sign in your yard.

Come on people, fucking grow up. Kicking over a sign is just fucking stupid.

Few Bush signs in Portland. Read the books. (4, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587121)


In Portland, Oregon, a friend mentioned that, before the last election, there were no signs in the yards in the wealthy area where he lives. Now there are seven Kerry/Edwards signs in the yards around his. There are no Bush signs.

I began looking for Bush signs as I drive around my area. I've seen none. There is at least one Kerry sign on each block, usually more.

I've heard that there are plenty of Bush signs in the rural areas of the state.

Many people in the U.S. know very, very little about the activities in their government. There are many very angry people. The ignorant and the angry are easily manipulated. To them, for example, bombing for democracy makes sense.

During the Clinton years, I read the books that were published about him. They said he was having sex with slutty women. They tried to find something wrong with his small losing investment called Whitewater. They said he may have, at some time during his being governor of Arkansas, associated with people who later turned out to be involved in questionable activities. I found the books interesting, but a little lame.

Now I've read the books [futurepower.org] about Bush. It's amazing. The information about Bush is about severe corruption of government.

The negative information about George W. Bush seems endless. Just when I think I know 10% of the corruption, I find more detail that shows I know less than 1% of it. For example, George W. Bush's brother was shown in a lawsuit deposition on 20/20 [go.com] casually talking about his prostitutes and his use of government influence to make money. This is Neil Bush talking about himself.

George H.W. Bush was involved in the weapons business with a brother of Osama bin Laden. See House of Bush, House of Saud: The secret relationship between the world's two most powerful dynasties by Craig Unger, 2004, Scribner, New York, New York, USA. Reviews: Powell's [powells.com] Barnes & Noble [barnesandnoble.com] Amazon [amazon.com]

Most media exists to make money. Advertisers are understandably careful not to alienate anyone. It is not possible to develop an accurate opinion of government activities only by listening to the carefully crafted phrases from media employees who would lose their jobs if they seemed to indicate a preference for one policy over another. It's necessary to read books.

George Soros says, "President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests, and undermining American values." [georgesoros.com] If Dole had been elected instead of Clinton, the U.S. would have had sensible leadership. This election is different. It is not a matter of which candidate you like. If you vote for Bush, you are poorly informed. This is not a claim that Kerry and Edwards are perfect. They represent, at minimum, a needed change.

--
Government data compares Democrat and Republican economics. [futurepower.org]

You give no reason to vote against him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587473)

" For example, George W. Bush's brother was shown in a lawsuit deposition..."

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing, of course. Both Carter and Clinton had/have lousy criminal brothers, and this fact had nothing to do with their presidency. Fallacious "guilt by relation".

Just about all the books in your list are opinion rants by partisan idealogues: people who pretty much hate anyone to the right of Ted Kennedy. These prove nothing.

"If you vote for Bush, you are poorly informed"

I will vote again for him because I am informed. With eyes wide open.

Re:Few Bush signs in Portland. Read the books. (1)

Grym (725290) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587824)

Most media exists to make money. Advertisers are understandably careful not to alienate anyone. It is not possible to develop an accurate opinion of government activities only by listening to the carefully crafted phrases from media employees who would lose their jobs if they seemed to indicate a preference for one policy over another. It's necessary to read books.

I'm sorry, but have you even been watching TV lately? It's just as polarized--if not exaggeratedly so--than the public. In fact, watching TV, you'd think we were on the verge of a civil war. Whereas most people I talk to (barring a select few) really don't care.

You're right about one thing, the media is about making money, but there is no thought to alienation of viewers, because outrageous political hackery SELLS.

George Soros says, "President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests, and undermining American values." If Dole had been elected instead of Clinton, the U.S. would have had sensible leadership. This election is different. It is not a matter of which candidate you like. If you vote for Bush, you are poorly informed...

See, this type of blanket statement doesn't help anything. The fact that you've said it either represents that YOU are poorly informed or are too jaded to see that a legitimate room for disagreement exists.

A great number of people, including myself, believe that George W. Bush (whether you like him or not--I don't) is doing a good job with regard to the war on terror, and consider it the main issue of the day. Furthermore, the democratic candidate offers only criticism without solutions and negativism that many in the country--again including myself--don't feel is the direction we want this country to go.

-Grym

My experiences slightly different (4, Interesting)

Second_Infinity (810308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587158)

During the 2000 election, I had something a bit different occur.

My parents house (was living with them at the time) is on a farm, with a pretty heavily traveled road through it. We had the problem of the other side putting signs up on our property. We would take them down, to find more in their place a couple of days later. I lost count of how many signs we removed, as they kept on replacing them.

It was not public land, they had no right to put them there, and we had every right to remove them.

They were Gore/Lieberman signs.

Re:My experiences slightly different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587712)

Did your parents care to call the county Democrat office to inform them?

Both Signs get Destroyed (4, Interesting)

cfoster611 (219409) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587298)

In front of my house, my roommates and I have both Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards signs on our lawn, as well as signs from local and state campaigns. (A house divided, so to speak)

All of them get trashed. the Bush/Cheney more often (4 signs down so far). But we live in a college town so such things are expected on Friday nights. Luckily, the Republicans here don't charge for signs, while the Democratic's charged $3 for the Kerry/Edwards signs, which get stolen/trampled/set on fire much less often.

I figure if I call up the local RNC/DNC offices and tell them of my tails of woe, they'll hook me up with some really huge, gaudy signs. With huge defense lasers and remote-controlled carpet bombing capabilities. That'll stop'm.

Bush signs trashed in WA (5, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 9 years ago | (#10587789)

I saw some Bush signs pretty severely trashed this summer in rural Washington state. It put a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.

I think there are a couple of reasons this is happening. One is that people feel denied their right to dissent. This is what happens when you create "free speech zones" miles out of the way, suppress dissenting opinions and information as unpatriotic, and kick people out of Presidential events for wearing T-shirts you don't agree with. Another is that George W. Bush has polarized the nation to a degree that has rarely been seen before. He claims to do God's work, but it seems to me that all he's managed to do is spread hate: the Democrats hate the Republicans, the Republicans hate the Democrats, the Sunnis, Shiites, and Al Qaeda members in Iraq hate the American occupiers, America hates France, the whole world hates America... listen, I'm not religious in the least, but if I understand things right, Jesus and God are supposed to be about love. All this fear and hatred that Bush incites- if he's getting his directions from somebody, it ain't the guy upstairs, that's for sure. There's a line in the Bible that sums this up pretty well: "and ye shall know them by the fruit they bear". Seems to me Bush has given us a bitter harvest.

Re:Bush signs trashed in WA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10587848)

"One is that people feel denied their right to dissent."

It is a false feeling. "Dissent" books rage up and down the bestseller lists, and dissent marches flourish.

"This is what happens when you create "free speech zones" miles out of the way"

These were made necessary by protest movements which seek to silence or stop their opponent's meetings. The 1st Amendment includes the right to assemble: if you let protesters interfere with someone's assembly, this right goes out the window.

"suppress dissenting opinions and information as unpatriotic"

While some hate speech is properly labelled as unpatriotic (such as the Dixie Chix's blasts of hatred aimed at America), none is suppressed.

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