Thoughts, links, and essays from Peter Merholz
petermescellany   petermemes


Archives before June 13, 2001

RSS Feed

Adaptive Path (my company!)

About peterme

Most of the Time
Oakland, CA

American history around the time of the Revolution, figuring out how to marry top-down task-based information architecture processes with bottom-up document-based ones, finding a good dentist in San Francisco Oakland
Designing the user experience (interaction design, information architecture, user research, etc.), cognitive science, ice cream, films and film theory, girls, commuter bicycling, coffee, travel, theoretical physics for laypeople, single malt scotch, fresh salmon nigiri, hanging out, comics formalism, applied complexity theory, Krispy Kreme donuts.

Click to see where I wander.

Wish list
Show me you love me by
buying me things.

Track updates of this page with Spyonit. Clickee here.

[Editor's note: began as a site of self-published essays, a la Stating The Obvious. This evolved (or devolved) towards link lists and shorter thoughtpieces. These essays are getting a tad old, but have some good ideas.]
Reader Favorites
Interface Design Recommended Reading List
Whose "My" Is It Anyway?
Frames: Information Vs. Application

Interface Design
Web Development
Movie Reviews

It's Getting Easier to Be Green. Posted on 01/13/2003.

Though a registered Democrat, In both 1996 and 2000, I cast my presidential vote for Ralph Nader. Clinton had pissed me off with "welfare reform", Gore pissed me off with spinelessness, and Nader's platform rang true line-by-line. Last year, I casted my gubernatorial vote for Peter Camejo. And this year, Gray Davis continues to behave in a way that makes me feel justified. The Chronicle reports that while he's slashing budget across the board (he has to, we've got a $34 billion deficit), he's proposing an INCREASE in spending to prisons. For some strange reason, Davis has felt the need to be seen as "tough on crime," which means that he's harsher than your typical Republican. He loves the death penalty, he never considers anyone for parole or clemency, and now he wants to give prisons more money.

And he's a Democrat? I suppose, in the same way that only Nixon could have gone to China, only a Republican could have come out so strongly against the death penalty.

Closer to home, a bit of local politics shows up why I can't stand the Democrats. In San Francisco, Matt Gonzalez became the President of the Board of Supervisors, making him among the most powerful Green politicians in the country. Not long before he was elected Supervisor, Gonzalez was a democrat. But seeing the erosion of the Democratic platform into a cuddlier version of the Republican one lead him to pursue his ideals and change party affiliation. As a supervisor, he's been thoughtful, considerate, and out of the limelight. One gets the sense that Gonzalez is basically a good guy, wanting to do the Right Thing, working quietly and consistently. His ideals are also that which would be considered traditionally liberal/democratic -- fairness to labor, equal rights, environmentally concerned, etc. etc.

As that linked-to article pointed out, Gonzalez' election has caused a conniption in local Democratic circles, because, well, Democrats should just fall in line like good little soldiers and vote strictly for the party, not for the person best suited to the job.

(Have I mentioned I have trouble with all group affiliations for *just this reason*?)

Though they try to be the "party of the people", the history of San Francisco shows how, with remarkable consistency, the Democratic powerful (who have pretty much been running the city unabated for 40 years) do what's in the interest of big corporations, often at the expense of the underprivileged. Folks interested in this ought to read CITY FOR SALE, a history of downtown development at the expense of those living there.

(somewhat tangential: And now Joe Lieberman has thrown his hat into the presidential ring. That odious fundamentalist toad pretty much shows up everything misbegotten about the Democratic party.)

I maintain high hopes for Gonzalez, and for the slow, but steady, emergence of the Greens as a voice in our politics. And I strongly suggest perusing their platform.

6 comments so far. Add a comment.

Previous entry: "Good on Governor Ryan."
Next entry: "Mothballs."


Interesting. My wife and I started talking about this same interest in voting with the Greens after the last presidential election as well. Basically we've come to believe that the Democratic party (as well as the Republican) do not represent what we value. The Greens, on the other hand do.
Posted by michael @ 01/13/2003 10:37 AM PST [link to this comment]


"The Triumph of Hope over Self-Interest" was an op-ed piece in Sunday's NY Times. [NYT registration is free.]

While I have some problems with Brook's analysis, it does point out the difficulty in moving the electorate to the Left. Greens have a very long row to hoe, I fear.
Posted by Rick @ 01/13/2003 12:13 PM PST [link to this comment]

"..., the history of San Francisco shows how, with remarkable consistency, the Democratic powerful (who have pretty much been running the city unabated for 40 years) do what's in the interest of big corporations, often at the expense of the underprivileged."

Peter, show me a case where *any* powerful group hasn't done this. It's in the nature of power to suck up to money; greed and power go hand in hand.
Posted by jeez @ 01/14/2003 07:20 AM PST [link to this comment]

"odious fundamentalist toad?" I'd like to know what you've been smoking.

Why not explain your reasons for opposing a senator with great integrity.
Posted by Socrates M @ 01/14/2003 02:30 PM PST [link to this comment]

"odious fundamentalist toad"

Well, he is rather toady in his manners, kind of self-satisfied very often. He's certainly very uninspiring. In his announcement he seemed to simply call himself the "non-Bush."

Does anyone really belive high-powered politicians when they say they won't be influenced by special interests, or big DC money?

These guys are just a bunch of liars. Best you can do is find ones who at least consider causes you find important as they rub their hands and cackle every time the glow of power shines on them a little more.
Posted by uhhuh @ 01/16/2003 08:32 AM PST [link to this comment]

I hope we don't go to war
Posted by keith knutsson @ 01/31/2003 02:50 AM PST [link to this comment]

Add A New Comment:


E-Mail (optional)

Homepage (optional)

Comments Now with a bigger box for text entry! Whee!

All contents of are © 1998 - 2002 Peter Merholz.