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Just a very quick note that the White House summit on Community Colleges will be presented as live streaming video today on C-SPAN.  It is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. EDT and conclude at about 3:00 p.m. EDT.

The Community College where I teach will be represented by the head honcho and a "typical student" who was chosen to be there.  I have a bit of a problem with the type of student chosen.  Advantage:  He is not a "traditional age" college student.  Disadvantage:  He is not someone going for a 2-year technical degree, but a student who is taking the cheaper general studies courses at Ivy Tech Community Colleges of Indiana, then planning to transfer to a 4-year college.*

If you would like to use this diary to live blog the broadcast, please recommend it so it stays active.

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What is the priority in our public life?  Should it be helping others, or should it be purity of ideology?  

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday), I had lunch in a little local restaurant in small town Indiana, in a part of the state that typically votes Republican.  The family at the next table greeted a friend who walked in.  The talk was about work, and who was employed, who was looking for work, and whose house had been lost to foreclosure.

"There is a house down the street from us," the woman said, "which is being sold by the bank.  Those people didn't lose their jobs, but their medical bills were so bad that they lost their house."

Their friend said, "I know three families like that.  One of them lost both of their cars and their house to medical bills.  Now they live with their parents, and are driving their grandpa's car, the one he's had for twenty years.  They are scared about how long it will last, 'cause they need it to get to work."

"Something has to be done--this is just so terrible for people."

On a different Saturday . . .

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Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:07 AM PDT

WHEE--The 200-year diet

by Dar Nirron

No, I'm not selling a book ($19.95 plus shipping and handling) on how to live to be 200 years old if you eat my miraculous health food discovery.

Rather, I'm doing an experiment in my own eating for better health, and I'm feeling healthier!

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For those of you following the story of Kimit Muston and his wife Samantha, here is an up-date.

Background diaries for those who do not know the story:

Original diary

Big news update (In which an anonymous Kossack paid the entire remaining property tax bill on the fully paid for Muston home, keeping the house out of the sheriff's sale and just totally saving the day.) [Cue the superhero music . . . . ]

Yesterday's "thank you" diary

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:59 PM PST

KAMuston--HUGE UPDATE!!!!

by Dar Nirron

More than 100 members of this online community responded to Kimit's first diary about how he and his wife Samantha might lose their home for back taxes.  The original diary is here.

Briefly:  Kimit and Sam own their home outright, having paid cash for it after selling a condo.  Kimit had a stroke, and with all the worry and bills and rehab surrounding this event, they neglected to pay property taxes.  They owe less than $4000, and could lose their home in the sheriff's sale, which is scheduled for March 11th.  Go here to see their tax bill. Search public records for K.A. Muston.

UP-DATE:  You folks will not believe what one of our members did with the information above!  Under the jump:

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It was a close vote, but the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) has approved recognizing and rostering gay and lesbian pastors who are in committed relationships.  (They had previously OKed such people in ministry if they were celibate.)

For the full text of the news release, and some commentary on why this is huge, join me below the fold.

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 11:48 AM PDT

Obama: Friend of mine workers

by Dar Nirron

President Obama appointed a former United Mine Workers of America official to lead the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Mine owners are NOT happy.

More below:

Poll

What do you do for a living?

35%37 votes
4%5 votes
0%1 votes
1%2 votes
1%2 votes
1%2 votes
0%1 votes
25%27 votes
2%3 votes
0%1 votes
11%12 votes
5%6 votes
5%6 votes

| 105 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 12:08 PM PDT

Why we won't get healthcare help

by Dar Nirron

I went to the website of Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.  The form for sending him an e-mail is well-hidden, but I finally found it, and I sent him the same e-mail that I sent to his DINO colleague from Indiana, Senator Evan Bayh.

THEN I found this detestable press release on his website.

Poll

Does YOUR Senator give a damn about your ability to access health care?

29%14 votes
23%11 votes
34%16 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
4%2 votes
6%3 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:49 PM PDT

No one was watching.

by Dar Nirron

As we think of jobs that could put Americans back to work, and be good jobs that will stimulate the economy, I can think of an important category:

Regulators.

Yes, the army of watchdogs that we just don't seem to have.

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Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 06:56 AM PST

Margarine and pickles

by Dar Nirron

"How you spend your money is a vote on what should exist in the world."  That is a quote from the front page of my other internet addiction, The Simple Living Network. (I go by another name there.)

My brand of margarine and my brand of pickles changed recently.  I will tell you why below.

Poll

Are you able to spend money according to your conscience?

2%3 votes
9%10 votes
16%17 votes
4%5 votes
4%5 votes
3%4 votes
55%58 votes
0%1 votes
1%2 votes

| 105 votes | Vote | Results

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I found a most interesting article on Michael Moore's website.  It concerns a law professor who has researched religious texts (particularly the Bible as used by Protestant Christians) and taxes.  Her main point is that most states in the U.S.A. have regressive, unjust, and immoral tax structures.  She also makes a point of naming which states are the worst, which is the best even if not perfect (Minnesota), and on what basis she makes these comparisons.  I will link to it below the fold.

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Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 08:06 AM PDT

Captain First Amendment Man

by Dar Nirron

This award winning short video was made by a group of teenagers, under the direction of a youth television program called "Rhinoplasty."  My older son was on the team that made this video--look for the "Trapper."

The challenge, sent out to schools throughout the United States, was to make a short film that explained the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  Most of these short films were very factual and straightforward.  Because this film was created by a bunch of teenagers who were a loose confederation of kids who loved making videos, and were not in it for a grade, they took it as a lark and made something creative and wonderful.

For a link and more about how this video was created, go below the fold.

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