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October 24, 2008.   For immediate release.


Forget about Joe the Plumber! McCain and Obama should have interviewed me, Pat the Professor! My husband and I attribute our ‘sanity’ lately in these financially troubled times, to the line in the Janis Joplin song: “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose!” As our ‘richer friends’ wallow in misery about the 40% drop in their hundreds of thousands, and even millions in savings; we just thank God daily for the abundance that surrounds us in the love we have for each other, our health, and where we live on the California’s beautiful central coast.

But our day to day picture looks like this:  I am a 63 year old Ph.D. former college professor of Health Education, retired a year ago by budget cuts (directly related to the cost of the war). The most recent ‘required’ course I taught that was cut was in Service Learning, an admirable field where students volunteer in the community and learn to be multi-cultural community builders. Now I collect early Social Security of $1,111 a month, and am now starting to work as a freelance writer.

My husband is a 59-year-old former plumber who, thanks to a student loan, was able to return to college and work toward a degree in Instructional Technology. An experienced web designer and developer, he is currently unemployed and collecting $1800 a month in unemployment insurance. The current financial crisis, the resulting job losses countrywide and the shipping of many jobs overseas, not to mention his age, makes his search for gainful employment difficult.

We do not have health insurance, and haven’t since 2001 when President Bush cut federal funding for all PT-3 grants, ending Larry’s full-time job providing technology training for teachers. Our out of pocket costs per month for prescription drugs alone is close to $300. In 2006 we documented $38,376.71 worth of health expenses on our tax forms, and $15,997 in 2007.

Read More Pat the Professor....... )


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A part of the reason why I dislike McCain and Palin so is because they made fun of community organizers, which shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what community organizers do. I'm kind of amused and happy about the dislike the that one statement has generated among the health education community. SOPHE, the Society for Public Health Education, posted a statement about community organizers, of which this is an excerpt: Recently, there have been many questions about the role of community organizers, the nature of their work, and their contributions to society. Community organizers work with people in a community to identify problems, find solutions, and accomplish desired outcomes. They learn about cultural groups’ beliefs and values, create avenues for information exchange and education, and often serve as the conduit between neighborhood groups and elected officials. In the United States, community organizing has a long tradition dating back to the 1800s, and a variety of colleges and universities today offer graduate and undergraduate programs and courses in this area. It's a 1-page pdf file and it's worth reading.

More on community organizers...... )


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