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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Shala Mills » Archives for Shala Mills

By Shala Mills on August 31, 2008

We returned home from the convention on Friday evening to discover that our Obama yard sign was missing. In a reversal of family roles, it was my husband who uttered the optimistic “maybe someone took it because they wanted it for their own yard.” Okay, so the truth is he said it tongue in cheek. And, as we both suspected, such wishful thinking was just that…wishful. I found the sign. Mutilated. Laying in a twisted mess in another part of the yard. The wires had been bent. The tough fabric wasn’t easy to tear, but the perpetrator had done his or her best, stretching and twisting at it until portions were a thinned out stretch of perforated plastic.

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By Shala Mills on August 28, 2008

celebrate What more can I say?

By Shala Mills on August 28, 2008

From the service project I headed to the convention center where I connected with my husband and then the two of us walked down to an outdoor café for lunch where we watched an odd assortment of folks passing by, including someone in an ostrich costume with a sign that read “McCain’s Economic Policy” and a belly dancer whose spangles and beads were accompanied by political buttons. I was enjoying my lunch and hoping to either blog or catch part of the Rural Caucus (which was badly timed) when my cell phone rang and I was summoned to the floor. Change of plans. Roll call would be much earlier than expected. Delegates from all across the country were receiving the same calls (what did they do before cell phones?) and began making their way to delegate shuttles.

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By Shala Mills on August 28, 2008

Trying to squeeze in a little more sleep, I didn’t make it down to Wednesday’s breakfast until just before the group photo with the delegation, most of us wearing our matching KDP polos. (A moment here to thank the KDP staff who have done a terrific job this week. It must be a bit like herding cats in the midst of a thunderstorm, but they manage to get us gathered and more or less organized despite last minute schedule changes from the DNC. And they reunited me with my cell phone on Wednesday morning, which was a great relief.) Our morning speakers were Gov. Sebelius and the Governors of North Carolina (who loved our powder blue shirts) and Arizona. After the delegation breakfast, I joined the delegation service project which proved to be a rewarding experience.

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By Shala Mills on August 28, 2008

Determined not to repeat Monday’s transportation fiasco, I took a delegate shuttle from the convention center to the Pepsi Center and was in my delegate seat by 4:00. It was fascinating to watch the building fill. Before the crowds got too thick, I took the opportunity to cruise the floor perimeter, walking just a few feet away from the FOX, MSNBC and NBC broadcast platforms (where I managed to irritate a security guard when my flash accidentally went off while snapping a photo of Katie Curic just after the guard had ordered “no flash”.) One of the VIPs I encountered was former Speaker Jim Wright from my home state of Texas and I was pleased to pose for a picture with him.

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By Shala Mills on August 28, 2008

We started Tuesday with the delegate breakfast and a speech from Lt Gov Parkinson. Keeping Monday’s mantras in mind all day served me well. The day was a pitch perfect convention experience.

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By Shala Mills on August 27, 2008

Back at the hotel, I took a few moments to freshen up and then headed off for the convention. I had missed the last shuttle bus for delegates and so had to make my way by light rail and foot. Although I didn’t catch up with any Kansas delegates, I quickly identified some other delegates (all of us readily identifiable by our green floor passes dangling from the lanyards around our necks). So I chatted on the light rail with delegates and honored guests from Mississippi and Pennsylvania. Meeting delegates from around the country has been one of the really fun things about this experience for me. We’re lodging in the same hotel with the North Carolina delegation and very near the Washington delegation, so I’ve had a chance to meet several people from those states and everyone is very friendly and eager to talk to others about their experiences.

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By Shala Mills on August 27, 2008

I mentioned Lesson #1 in an earlier blog: Your schedule means nothing. That lesson was re-confirmed on Monday when all my best laid plans were shattered by one poor scheduling choice that snowballed into a de-railed afternoon. Add to that Lesson #2: When the Kansas Democratic Party folks urge you not to try car transportation during convention week, listen to them. And, finally, add Lesson #3: Skip the receptions and “forums” and focus on the caucuses and the convention itself. These three lessons are my mantra for today.

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By Shala Mills on August 25, 2008

Denise Cassell’s blog yesterday gave voice to lesson #1 we learned at the convention. The schedule means nothing. Ah, the best laid plans. Our lesson came yesterday afternoon when we thought surely it wouldn’t take us more than an hour to get from our hotel near the Denver Tech center to the Interfaith Gathering at the Convention Center. But take a couple of wrong turns in a metro area you aren’t familiar with, find yourself re-directed by the ample security John Petty mentions in his blogs, and the next thing you know you’ve missed the first 15 minutes of the service, which also meant that we missed the disruptive protest that marred the beginning of the Faith in Action gathering. We caught the protest group on the sidewalk outside the Wells Fargo Theater after the service, but more about that later. First, let me share what an incredible experience we had at the two hour Interfaith Gathering.

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By Shala Mills on August 24, 2008

In my political philosophy class we talk about Tocqueville and the idea of tyranny of the majority. The French philosopher visited the United States in the early 1800’s, and among other things observed this tendency in American democracy. What it refers to is an intense pressure, largely psychological, for the minority view to silence itself in the face of majority opinion. When my husband, also a political scientist, teaches this topic in his classes, he likes to use a concrete example for his students. Think, for example, how easy it typically is to express your views in front of your family and close friends. But think how much harder it is to express those views to a roommate in the dorm who may disagree with you. And think how much harder, still, it is to express the contrary view in a classroom full of fellow students, and perhaps even a professor, who does not share your perspective on an issue. And how much harder still to do so on national television, especially if your views run counter to the prevailing majority. Tocqueville’s point is that the demand for conformity of opinion would be so strong that the minority would not only be reluctant to express a different view, but that in time the minority would come to simply adopt the majority view. I found myself under such pressure just a few weeks ago.

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More blog posts by Shala Mills:

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We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for Shala Mills. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

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This is an archive for Shala Mills. To learn more about this author, you can also read a Biography for Shala Mills here.

Just a few of most current posts by Shala Mills are excerpted in the center of this page.

However, we do have links, below, to all of the entries ever published by this author.

To browse archived entries by Shala Mills, just scroll down this same sidebar column. You'll see the links for all of this author's blog entries, grouped by month and year.

Archives: Shala Mills

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