Paula Hendricks

Author ~:~ Writer ~:~ Book Designer ~:~ Book Producer

Posts Tagged ‘politics

Milk is about all of us

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I’ve seen Milk. Twice. The first time was opening day, Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it was raining. I went to the Castro Theater by myself.

I sat in this old movie palace in a crowd of men and women, gay and straight, old and young. Quiet. Waiting. I loved this movie, Both times. The first time, it was more about the story. I didn’t know much about Milk – oh, I knew he was one of the first openly gay men elected to public office and that he had a big big smile and that he and Mayor Moscone were murdered in City Hall and that Diane Feinstein was then President of the Board of Supervisors. I knew there were marches and still are. I think I knew there was a book about him. I knew there was a restaurant on Castro Street called Harvey’s.

I saw the movie twice because there were pieces I didn’t get the first time. There were side stories and complexities that I only caught glimpses of the first time. Why did I like it both times?

The top layer story is interesting and it’s about where I live and the people who have shaped this city. The next layer is about courage. Personal courage – to be who you are, say what you think, take a stand. The next layer was about how you get stuff done in life – how messy the process is; how long it can take; how important a single voice can be.

I came out of the theater wanting to know those people – Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg. I wanted to know more – about how they got involved and why. Maybe I’d find out why I seem to be so slow on the political side of things and so far ahead on technology. I have avoided politics almost all my life – my mother was a political junkie and until this year, I certainly was not.

What I saw in Milk was how important politics is. How important the whole process, and it is a process, is. One of the phrases that stands out for me is “It’s not about winning.” It’s not about winning. It’s about standing up. It’s about speaking out. It’s about taking a stand and having conversations. It’s about messy relationships – personal and political and economic.

Now I know for sure I want to add my voice to the discussion – about sustainability, and the multiple bottom line – profit, people, planet. And I see now that I must get more involved… in politics. I must be willing to live a far messier life than I have so far. I must be more vulnerable and more courageous and not worry about winning. Just being in the conversation is critical.

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Written by phwebnet

December 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Thanks for leaving us alone to vote

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We owe the world a big thank you. They left us alone to vote. There were no attacks on American soil, and as far as I know, there were no attacks on embassies or consulates. The world watched, but didn’t interfere. Thank you — all of you.

I had wondered if we would need UN poll watchers. I had been holding my breath that AlQaeda would attack or do something to push us in one direction or another. I had heard rumors that we might have troops in our streets to keep the peace. I was afraid someone somewhere would do something to draw our attention from our own election. And they did not.

Thank you. I hope we can return the favor.

Written by phwebnet

November 6, 2008 at 6:16 pm

I feel good about America today

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Yes, I know the financial markets are in a mess, here at home and all around the world.

Yes, I know China is building at least one coal fired power plant a week and already 1/3 of the pollution that reaches my city comes from China.

Yes, I know a friend of mine has defaulted on his mortgage at least 5 times and may lose his home.

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What the next president can do at little cost

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Given the constraints the bailouts and the economy will have on the new president, it seems that we should look at, first, what we can do that will cost no (or little) money. Please share other ideas!

  • Release the scientists (let them communicate with other scientists, let them speak — i.e. Jim Hansen of NASA on climate change)
  • Review current rules and regulations and start enforcing the ones that fit our vision
    • FDA
    • EPA
    • Fed Reserve
  • Make all government transactions more transparent and more understandable

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Let’s get it right this time

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Dear politicians – Obama, McCain, Dodd, Frank, Pelosi, Reed, Feinstein, Boxer

 This is an opportunity now to develop our own plan, not just tinker with the administrations. Why don’t we buy preferred shares like Buffet did? Why don’t we set up something that economists all over the world and especially here in the USA have been suggesting for weeks?

 It has always appalled me that we simply accepted two things: the administration’s assessment of the crisis and its timing and the structure of the bailout deal.

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Written by phwebnet

September 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Open letter to Barack Obama

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I am a supporter. I’m going to vote for you. I’ve given, and will give, both money and time. I live in San Francisco and realize this is not one of your battleground states, but I feel so strongly about what we need to change that I need to tell you and I want, badly, more from you, too.

We are falling apart from the inside. These past months with the Mississippi flooding and the bridge in Minneapolis failing – was such a clear metaphor to me. Our infrastructure, and really, the way we manage our society, is falling apart. Lots of reasons why, but we are. And I think this is true of health care (was a misnomer, it should be called a disease care system,) of politics, of our belief in science, in energy, in absolutely every aspect of my American life. The middle class I was raised in is gone. It sickens me.

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A Hippocratic oath for government

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I admit that I am naïve and an optimist, but lately even my own political party isn’t doing things right as far as I’m concerned – not right for me, not right for regular people, not right for the citizens of this formerly great nation.

I am hopeful we can change things, and yet I’m ashamed of our actions as a nation – towards others in the world as well as toward ourselves. Need I mention Katrina and New Orleans. Need I mention bailing out Bear Sterns and Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac with alacrity and enthusiasm without any requirement that they change their ways or become more transparent? With little being done for those who are losing their homes and their jobs? Need I mention how we treat those we think are beneath us?

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Written by phwebnet

July 29, 2008 at 6:42 pm