Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.

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Better Finland through “bottom to top” governance: PM – Xinhua | English.news.cn

HELSINKI, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen published his congratulatory message titled “A Better Finland” on new year’s eve, stating that Finland could maintain the prosperity and development of its welfare society through economic and social reforms.

While the Finnish economy continued to decline with weak domestic demand, fragile exports and increasing unemployment rate, “Finnish creativity has shown its strength,” said Katainen.

“New beginnings of success, for example growth in the games industry, small companies generating significant new employment, and major foreign investments in data canters are arising to replace jobs that are lost.”

Facing the challenges of a more difficult economic situation and continuously aging population, Katainen pointed out Finland must therefore have the courage to reform the society “on our own terms.”

“We will not manage this if we hang on to out-dated structures or drift involuntarily on the currents of the global economy,” he stressed.

Concerning the approach of the reforms, the prime minister proposed a “bottom to top” concept, contrary to the traditional “top to bottom” way of governance in Finland.

“Finns are increasingly embracing individual solutions and freedom of choice. We no longer consider it right that someone above us makes key life choices on our behalf. Instead of patronage, we want to be the decision-makers of our own lives when we have the capacity to be so,” said Katainen.

“No single common dream of a nation exists; there are as many dreams as there are people.” He emphasized that decision-makers must adapt to it and search for paths by which people’s individual wishes, needs and actions can also be channeled for “the good of all of Finland.”


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Charvis Brewer, an 8 Year-Old with Cerebral Palsy, Drafted by Memphis Grizzlies

Thank you again for sharing uplifting stories that improve everyone who sees them’s outlook:-)

I love this one especially! As a disabled kid I mostly just struggled to keep up. My dreams of going to the Olympics in gymnastics were pretty far fetched but served to keep me working out instead of giving in to the limitations. Seeing a kid like that have such a great experience is a perfect end to 2013 for me.

We’ve come a long way from the 70’s when most disabled and black kids were lucky to be ignored
(versus picked on, harassed etc).

With advances in nerve regeneration that have proven workable in pigs and rats who knows? Maybe someday he will play for that team for real:-)

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First Lady Supports Robin Roberts Coming Out As Gay

Thank you for posting this. It is so uplifting to see people like our President’s lovely wife, who are in the public eye, who have enough status and power to ignore anyone if they wish choosing instead to speak up and support others even when it is controversial.
I am grateful every day to have President and Mrs Obama leading our country toward fairness, equality, kindness and compassion for all and away from the tone of selfish, hateful, divisive negativity that seems so prevalent in much media here.

We don’t have to be gay, or immigrants, disabled or poor to recognize that we are all deserving of love and kindness.

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Truthout Daily Digest December 31,2013

Make New York City Ungovernable: Lessons From the Anti-Apartheid Struggle in the Age of Bill de Blasio

Arun Gupta, Truthout: If liberals drew the conclusion that real power lies in the markets, with the corporate-owned media and think tanks and universities endowed by the wealthy, then they would be calling for massive street protests to counter the full-court press Wall Street is placing on new Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Read the Article

Conscious Defiance: Catriona Rainsford’sUrban Circus

Peter Handel, Truthout: Author Catriona Rainsford ran away with the circus in Mexico, living and performing with an itinerant, fluid group of unicycle riding jugglers and fire “spinners.” We offer an excerpt from her memoir, Urban Circus, and an interview that provide fresh insight into Mexico.

Read the Excerpt and Interview

2013 in Review: Congress Bickers, People Take Action

Maureen O’Hagan, Equal Voice News: Government may come late to the party; sometimes, it fails to show up at all. But in communities around the country, work is getting done.

Read the Article

The Year of the “Leaker”

Robert Parry, Consortium News: Critics of “leakers” Manning and Snowden claim that unauthorized disclosures risk lives, but a stronger case can be made that many more lives have been lost due to government deceptions on issues of war or peace, lies that secrecy made possible.

Read the Article

Real Family Values: Flexible Work Arrangements and Work-Life Fit

Sarah Jane Glynn and Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress: Issues of workplace flexibility take different forms in different industries, but the roots of the problems are the same: Our modern labor standards make it unnecessarily difficult for workers to be both good workers and good family caregivers.

Read the Article

Eugene Robinson | The Cruelest Cut of All

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group: Those 1.3 million unemployed whose benefits expired Saturday are precisely who will suffer most from a cutoff, since they have been scraping by on unemployment checks for so long that their financial situations are already precarious, if not dire.

Read the Article

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Calls on Computer Hackers to Unite Against NSA Surveillance

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: Julian Assange addressed a major gathering of computer experts at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, calling on them to join forces in resisting government intrusions on internet freedom and privacy.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

“Honey, I Shrunk Killed the Middle Class”

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism: Even as the stock market roars ahead, the legitimacy of the ruling classes erodes quickly when ordinary citizens recognize how badly the deck is stacked against them.

Read the Article

“Are You Serious?” Awards 2013

Conn Hallinan, Dispatches From the Edge: A look back at the news stories and newsmakers that fall under the category of “Are you serious?” in 2013.

Read the Article

Winning and Losing the “Great Game” at the Same Time

Emily Schwartz Greco and William A Collins, OtherWords: China is content to let the United States spend itself into military-induced bankruptcy as the Soviets did.

Read the Article


The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Bernie Sanders: Congress Is Dysfunctional and Putting the US at Risk

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Japan’s Homeless Recruited for Murky Fukushima Clean Up

Read the Article at Reuters

Former Drone Program Analyst Speaks Out on What the Public Should Know

Read the Article at The Guardian

The Most Important Surveillance Order We Know Almost Nothing About

Read the Article at the ACLU Blog

“Worst” of Climate Predictions Are the Most Likely: New Study

Read the Article at Common Dreams

FAA Picks Six States for Drone Testing Sites

Read the Article at The Hill

David Sirota | Retired Cops, Activist Pensioners and the Economic Blowback Over Snowden

Read the Article at PandoDaily

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Desert Varnish: A Crude Marker of the Passage of Time

Thank you for posting this. I’ve always wondered about the varnish and how it is formed.

Naturalis Historia

Anyone who has spent time in a desert has probably noticed many dark streaks or patches on the rocks.  I expect that most people simply look at these dark streaks and think they are simply stains like a stain on a cement driveway or that line of rust color running down a wall from a rusty nail above.   No big deal right? But what if you were shown a picture of the same rock taken 50 years earlier and the stains looked identical to you?   You might start to wonder just how old those stains are on those rocks.  A week ago I posted pictures (NH Photography:  Desert Varnish around Moab UT)   of rocks with shiny black or orange varnish on them from my trip to Utah this summer.  I want to explore the origins of this varnish a further today.

Rock varnish…

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“A Warning For Republicans In 2014”: Francis Proves Fighting Yesterday’s Culture War Is Folly

Thank you so much for posting this. I have always loved Jesus and followed His teachings but for most if my life I felt very uncomfortable with the majority of organized Christian religion. The tone of meanness and putting people down, controlling others and general hateful judgements felt so wrong and hurtful to me I could not cope with being around it.
Pope Francis has inspired me and lifted my heart. I recently read a piece in my local newspaper from a conservative Catholic who mocked all of us so inspired by Francis and Saud the majority of Catholics snd Americans really do support the nastiness. I felt very let down on reading it and felt the writer was in error. This has confirmed my belief that most people really do love and care for others more than they enjoy judging and hating. Thank you!


What a difference a year makes. And what a difference a pope makes. At Christmas services this year, the priest at our local church told the families gathered for the children’s pageant that Jesus loves and is represented in everyone, including gays and lesbians. Our local church isn’t Jesuit, nor particularly liberal, but before Pope Francis stepped up with a new message of inclusivity, none of us had ever expected to hear anything like that at church, let alone at Christmas Eve mass. The congregation cheered.

The priest also pressed his core Christmas theme that the greatest joy we will experience is the joy we feel when serving others. Serving the poor is another significant shift in focus that Francis has brought to reinvigorate the church. Surely, there is no message more central to Jesus’ teaching and the Christian tradition than serving others and loving humanity, and, yet, prior to…

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Thank you Morgan! I had developed an aversion to poetry thru too much exposure to the tedious sort in school but you are re-inspiring my appreciation for the form:-)




Like a Star on its Course,

Journeying Through the Vast Wastes of Darkness,

I Walk with You;

Hand in Hand,

No more Me than I am You,

No more You than I am Me,


Questing Eternity,



Discovering All that I May Be,


With Thee.

Beautiful Image by: Hypnotic at Deviantart.com

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