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Lee Dudley
Lives in Portland, OR
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Hi :-)
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The Greek elections this week were fascinating to watch and were an earthquake in Europe more broadly.  The ridiculous "austerity" program imposed on Greece, Spain, and Italy has been a monstrous disaster as some economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz predicted all the way back in 2009 and 2010.  

What I find most ironic is that the primary EU member state which pushed for the huge spending cuts in Greece was Germany.  Its ironic because after WWII Greece forgave most of Germany's war debt to help it get back on its feet.  The other irony is the forgetfulness of how heaping debt on Germany after WWI led directly to the rise of Nazi Germany and WWII.

We now have two full centuries of economic data and theory to work with.  What's clear is that supply-side, laissez-faire economic policy a la the Hayekian/Friedmanite variety does not work.  We now have mountains of evidence.  In times of crisis deficit spending by the government is the best and often only way to get a nation's economy back on solid footing.  The Greeks know this all too well now.

With the resounding election of Alexis Tsipra and Syriza, Greece is pointing a new way forward for Europe.  Spain's elections are next and anti-austerity parties there are leading in polls as well.

Paul Krugman's column is a good read.  I love the inclusion of stats used by the ECB and conservative economists and how -- as he and other predicted -- those estimates were laughably wrong.  The only reason conservative economic theory survives in this day and age and in spite of two centuries of evidence is that such policies benefit the wealthiest of the wealthy who stand to benefit the most at the expense of entire national economies like Greece.  There is another way if people would just listen to folks like Krugman and Stieglitz and pay attention to evidence, not wishful thinking.

#greece #eu #europe #economics #politicaleconomy
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I'm not a big fan of the freethinker community mimicking religious artifacts. However, this one I kind of love.

The "Rethink Prize" was a crowdsourced group of 10 Non-Commandments for the freethinker crowd. I think these are pretty darn awesome.

#ethics   #humanism   #freethinking   #quotables  
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I'm not a big fan of the freethinker community mimicking religious artifacts. However, this one I kind of love.

The "Rethink Prize" was a crowdsourced group of 10 Non-Commandments for the freethinker crowd. I think these are pretty darn awesome.

1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.

2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.

3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.

4. Every person has the right to control of their body.

5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.

6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.

7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.

8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.

9. There is no one right way to live.

10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.

‪#‎freethinkers‬ ‪#‎atheists‬ ‪#‎agnostics‬ ‪#‎morality‬ ‪#‎reason‬ ‪#‎rationality‬
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Lee Dudley

▶ General Politics  - 
 
Are you f#@$!ing kidding me? So let me get this straight... American filmmakers using their free-speech rights make a comedy about killing North Korea's puny little version of Stalin. Puny Little Stalin hacks into Sony and embarrasses them with document disclosures (shame on Sony, really, for lax network security for which they are notoriously bad at). Then Puny Little Stalin threatens theaters in the U.S. if they show film. So far, so what, right? Here is the coup de grace: US THEATER OWNERS CAVE and pull the film from distribution.

You'd think that in America where our companies are willing to let cancer patients die in order to make a buck that they would tell Puny Little Stalin to go fuck himself. But, no. In this case, they're actually afraid of Puny Little Stalin and would rather take a financial hit than potentially anger the fascist dictatorship of North Korea. Way to be spineless wussies, AMC, Cinemark, and Regal.

Not only should we show the movie, Sony should distribute it on the internet for FREE if they're willing to shelve the movie and take a loss. To hell with Puny Little Stalin. And shame on those theater chains and Sony for not backing the free speech and expression that this film represents in the face of a deplorable regime's objections.

‪#‎freedomofspeech‬ ‪#‎freedomofexpression‬ ‪#‎theinterview‬ ‪#‎sony‬ ‪#‎movies‬ ‪#‎amc‬ ‪#‎cinemark‬ ‪#‎regal‬
The biggest movie theater chains in the United States have cancelled all current plans to show The Interview following threats to attack screenings of the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter....
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Sony says it will not release the film. That is too bad, really. This will make ill Kim Hitler feel his oats and probably lead to more B.S. on his part. Too bad we can't just smart bomb his dumb ass.
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Lee Dudley

▶ General Politics  - 
 
This essay is absolutely spot on:  "First things first: there's no such thing as "political correctness." The term's in wide use, certainly, but has no actual fixed or specific meaning. What defines it is not what it describes but how it's used: as a way to dismiss a concern or demand as a frivolous grievance rather than a real issue."

A discouraging trend in politics today, especially on the right, is to dismiss dialog and debate with flip obfuscations like this.  If you don't agree with a concept then make a bloody argument!  Dismissing something out of hand illustrates a lack of intelligence at best or a venal disregard for your fellow citizens at worst.

#politics #communications #debate #deliberation #argument #rhetoric
It's just a term we use to dismiss ideas that make us uncomfortable.
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More psychological evidence of how different thinking patterns determine political affiliation and outlook.  Interesting.

This definitely helps understand why conservatives I often speak with are so "immune" to evidence; feeling matters more to them.
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▶ Congress  - 
 
Look, lobbying is the single greatest existential threat to the American republic.  Full stop.  But if there is a company or organization that can exert more positive and than negative effect in using this corruption of the system, it's Google.  Their stance on net neutrality, global warming, science education, technology, etc. is spot on.  With any luck, they may even choose to engage with leaders like Lawrence Lessig to get rid of the system of lobbying with a Constitutional Amendment.  Here's hoping.

#politicalscience #politics #lobbying #rootstrikers #lessig #democracy
Google joined the lobbying elite in 2012 with competitive spending on lobbyists, and just two years later it cleared an impressive new hurdle. According to official lobby disclosures for the last...
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I find it difficult to be happy about lobbying, but I'm with you -- here's hoping.
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▶ Economic Issues  - 
 
More stealth legislation to undermine nation-state authority and regulatory schemes in favor of corporate tribunals. This is lawmaking at its worst and economics at its most pernicious. Kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Kill it dead.

"Anyone believing the TPP is good for Americans take note: The foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based corporations could just as easily challenge any U.S. government regulation they claim unfairly diminishes their profits – say, a regulation protecting American consumers from unsafe products or unhealthy foods, investors from fraudulent securities or predatory lending, workers from unsafe working conditions, taxpayers from another bailout of Wall Street, or the environment from toxic emissions."

‪#‎economics‬ ‪#‎politics‬ ‪#‎stealthlawmaking‬ ‪#‎law‬ ‪#‎treaty‬ ‪#‎trade‬
The former secretary of labor on the impending trade deal -- and why it will only further empower Wall Street
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Can't you smell the #wallstreet  rats trying to desert our #ShipofStatehttp://tinyurl.com/mvv2eg8
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I loved this show as a child.  The Neil DeGrasse Tyson version is just as good, if not better.  The historic stories are enjoyable but the concepts and scientific discoveries explored are awe inspiring and breathtaking.  I cannot say enough good things about both of these series.  And, of course, how much I wish Carl Sagan were still with us.  A hero of mine, for certain.

#cosmos   #carlsagan   #neildegrassetyson   #anndruyan   #sethmacfarlane   #science   #education   #scienceliteracy  
 
On December 21st, 1980, the final episode of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was broadcast on PBS, and to this day, still stands as the most watched television series that has aired on the network. Cosmos was written by Ann Druyan, Steven Soter, and Carl Sagan, who also presented the series. 

Carl Sagan, who was an astrophysicist and astronomer, understood the importance and influence that digital media would have on a generation, and a large number of today's scientists and engineers have stated that watching the series at a young age greatly peaked their scientific interest and curiosity. In a recent piece on National Geographic, Patrick J. Kiger wrote:

"...Sagan generally wasn’t thrilled with the portrayal of science on TV—a discontent that he got to remedy when he signed on in 1979 to develop and host Cosmos for PBS. Instead of a dull science lecture, Sagan envisioned a program that would make the fullest use of television’s visual possibilities, including special effects and computer animation, and send viewers hurtling on a spaceship between cosmic destinations, when they weren’t contemplating a “cosmic calendar” that compressed the history of the universe into the equivalent of a single Earth year. As he said at the time, his goal was to make it so that “people could turn the sound off and still enjoy the series.” The production cost a then-hefty $8 million, making it the most expensive program ever created for public television.


But in the end, Sagan’s flamboyance and willingness to take risks paid off handsomely, as Cosmos became both a critical success a massive international hit. That success demonstrated that audiences would watch science, if it was presented in an entertaining fashion, and helped pave the way for generations of other science programming."

The legacy of this television series can still be felt today, as Druyan and Soter, along with executive producer Seth McFarlane, teamed up Neil deGrasse Tyson to carry on Carl Sagan's passion of spreading scientific literacy to the masses.

Sources: 
1. Carl Sagan and the Cosmos Legacy
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/articles/carl-sagan-and-the-cosmos-legacy/

#NASA   #Penny4NASA   #Cosmos   #Sagan  
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“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.”  ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Rama Thai has a "hole-in-wall" kind of atmosphere. But atmosphere aside, the food is the best Thai on the West Side and definitely the best in Beaverton. It's close to where I live and so it's great for night's I want take out. No matter what I've gotten, the food nearly always tasted great.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Thai Hi 5 has a lovely interior; definitely a comfortable place to sit down and have your meal. And the food is always consistently good. I think that Rama Thai, just down the street, is a bit better in the flavors of their food, but falls down in their consistency and the poor interior of their shop. Given a choice, Rama Thai is great for take out, but Thai Hi 5 is a better all-around choice: you can eat in, take out, and will always be able to count on a consistently good meal.
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Food: Very GoodDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
I live close to this gym and it's my "home gym." I used to live in Oregon City and used the Clackamas 24-Hour or the 24-Hour on Milwaukie Ave in Portland (by my work). I use this facility often. Comparing these three facilities, here are my thoughts on the Beaverton location: • Staff and trainers are extremely friendly and helpful. • Manager (I don't know his name; tall thin guy, dark hair, balding) is kind of a jerk. Very unfriendly and seems mean to the staff. • Equipment is repaired - usually, but not always - in a reasonable time. But the fact that the equipment is in disrepair so often leads me to think that some of the equipment simply needs to be replaced. The one exception is the broken drinking fountain on the second floor which has been broken for at least two weeks without being fixed. That's just too long to leave something unrepaired. • Cleanliness is where things really fall down. This facility gets a lot of use; but so did all of the other 24-Hours that I've been to. But none seem to be as consistently unclean. I'd have rated this facility higher if not for this reason alone. I get that its a gym, but cleanliness isn't just about keeping the place from being smelly; it's about ensuring colds, flu, and other communicable illnesses aren't spread from person to person. 24-Hour Fitness typically does a great job in most every facility I've been to. Now that the Beaverton location is my home gym, I'd appreciate a cleaner place to work out. Beyond that, staff is friendly and the facility has all the equipment I need and like to use.
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Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
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Hot Shots makes the best coffee and their Chai is the best I've had. Staff is always friendly and quick. Love it!
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago