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Scientists have finally figured out the mystery of where Bronze Age iron came from

A new study in the Journal of Archaeological Science seems to have solved a long-standing mystery that archeologists and scientists have faced: the discovery of iron artifacts that date back to the Bronze Age. The fact of iron in the Bronze Age record (320
Daily Kos

Scientists have finally figured out the mystery of where Bronze Age iron came from

A new study in the Journal of Archaeological Science seems to have solved a long-standing mystery that archeologists and scientists have faced: the discovery of iron artifacts that date back to the Bronze Age. The fact of iron in the Bronze Age record (3200 BCE—1200BCE) goes against the idea that humanity had yet to have the knowledge and capability to smelt iron. This meant that while many scientists and archeologists suggested an extraterrestrial solution—meteors—there were people who could still argue: Aliens So far the limited testing that’s been done on Bronze Age iron has supported the meteorite theory. However, what has been hampering efforts to find out the exact makeup of more of these artifacts was the fear of destructive testing that would harm them. These scientists were able to find a way to non-destructively test the iron elements. Albert Jambon, from the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, studied museum artefacts from Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and China, analysing them using an X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer to discover they all shared the same off-world origins. "The present results complementing high quality analyses from the literature suggest that most or all irons from the Bronze Age are derived from meteoritic iron," writes Jambon in his published paper. Part of what differentiates iron that humans make and iron that comes from the sky is the level of nickel.

Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—preventing fundraising nightmares

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Y’ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follo
Daily Kos

Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—preventing fundraising nightmares

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Y’ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every couple of months I revisit fundraising. Not because fundraising is fun, or that it is the most important element, but because successful fundraising helps lay the groundwork for successful campaigns. Part of successful fundraising, though, is preventing fundraising nightmares. Fundraising is a difficult enough task as it is, why make it even more difficult by committing cardinal sins you can avoid before you start? We’ve covered organization in activism this year as well as candidates, and one thing they both share in common is the need to raise money to support their efforts.  Ready to talk about the big mistakes you should avoid?  Let’s go.

University janitor with no criminal record faces deportation after nearly two decades in U.S.

Remember that when Donald Trump tells you he is keeping America safe by sweeping up only “bad hombres” for deportation, he’s lying to you. In fact, the only “bad hombres” we’ve seen of late are the unshackled Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Daily Kos

University janitor with no criminal record faces deportation after nearly two decades in U.S.

Remember that when Donald Trump tells you he is keeping America safe by sweeping up only “bad hombres” for deportation, he’s lying to you. In fact, the only “bad hombres” we’ve seen of late are the unshackled Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who have been targeting hardworking, taxpaying undocumented immigrants like Francisco Acosta, a Wesleyan University janitor: When Acosta left Colombia, and his wife and teenage sons, in 2001, he hoped he’d be able to bring them to the United States soon. After three days of driving from Colombia, Acosta crossed the border into El Paso, Texas, and immediately applied for political asylum from the brutal violence he had left behind. Acosta was denied asylum and hasn’t seen his wife and sons since. During his appeal of the asylum case, he came to Connecticut because other members of his family live here, and he now works as a janitor at Wesleyan University in Middletown. On Monday, he will face a deportation order that will send him back to a country where he says he was threatened with death for teaching and supporting unions. While Acosta had worked with an attorney for seven years to petition for asylum, only to have it rejected. Still, he had been allowed to stay in the U.S. and work legally under the Bush and Obama administrations, so long as he continued checking in regularly with ICE. But when he went to his check-in under the Trump administration, he was ordered to buy a one-way plane ticket and prepare to leave his home and life.

DOJ is making the most insane argument that protesters and journalists should go to jail

The Washington Examiner has transcripts of the Department of Justice’s closing remarks in their case against six protesters and one journalist for their participation in Inauguration Day protests. We all realize that the right wing of our country is workin
Daily Kos

DOJ is making the most insane argument that protesters and journalists should go to jail

The Washington Examiner has transcripts of the Department of Justice’s closing remarks in their case against six protesters and one journalist for their participation in Inauguration Day protests. We all realize that the right wing of our country is working diligently to squash all dissent, even if that means trampling on the Bill of Rights. But Sessions’s DOJ isn’t even pretending that they are trying to prosecute vandalism and violence. They’re attacking people for protesting. During closing arguments Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rizwan Qureshi offered no evidence that the six committed acts of violence or vandalism, or attended planning meetings for an anti-capitalism march that ended in the arrest of about 240 people in downtown Washington. If you aren’t going to provide evidence or even argue that these individuals did something actually illegal (destroying private property for example), what is it exactly that you are arguing. Instead, Qureshi likened the defendants to robbery get-away drivers, guilty because they helped anonymize others in a crowd. “That’s exactly what this sea of black was, it was the getaway car,” he said. That “sea of black,” is supposed to reference the black outfits that some protesters wear. But, guess what? That argument will work for skin color as well—because it’s a completely unconstitutional attack on our rights to assemble and protest as Americans. But the arguments Qureshi made during the trial were equally odious. Brittne Lawson and Michelle Macchio argued that they—besides not wearing black—served as medics to people that had been hurt. “Ms. Lawson was prepared for war and she was going to make it succeed,” Qureshi said, saying she planned “to mend them and get them up on their way.” “What do you need a medic with gauze for? I thought this was a protest,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with being a medic, but she was aware there was a riot going on.” Ummmm. Wow. Considering that the DOJ isn’t interested in the never-ending stream of Second Amendment lunatics carrying GUNS to protests, this line of arguing is not simply transparent in its partisanship, it’s fucking insane. Deliberations are supposed to take place on Thursday and into Friday. I will try to update if anything gets decided.

VP of tax-paid Republican opposition research group has been spying on EPA employees for a year

On Friday, I took note of an investigative piece written by three Mother Jones’ reporters about Definers Group, a Republican opposition research firm hired for $120,000 with a no-bid contract by the Environmental Protection Agency to  “track and shap
Daily Kos

VP of tax-paid Republican opposition research group has been spying on EPA employees for a year

On Friday, I took note of an investigative piece written by three Mother Jones’ reporters about Definers Group, a Republican opposition research firm hired for $120,000 with a no-bid contract by the Environmental Protection Agency to  “track and shape press coverage of the agency.”  As it turns out, that’s not all the group is doing. It was founded by Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign manager, and Joe Pounder, another longtime Republican operative. A Definers’ vice president has for the past year been investigating EPA employees critical of the Trump regime, according to Eric Lipton and Lisa Freedman at The New York Times. They report: A vice president for the firm, Allan Blutstein, federal records show, has submitted at least 40 Freedom of Information Act requests to the E.P.A. since President Trump was sworn in. Many of those requests target employees known to be questioning management at the E.P.A. since Scott Pruitt, the agency’s administrator, was confirmed. Mr. Blutstein, in an interview, said he was taking aim at “resistance” figures in the federal government, adding that he hoped to discover whether they had done anything that might embarrass them or hurt their cause. [...] The requests focused on agency employees like Michael Cox, who worked in the E.P.A.’s Seattle office and had sent a retirement notice in March to colleagues that raised questions about Mr. Pruitt’s management as well as agency employees who had participated in a public outreach program called “Why do you love the E.P.A.,” which tried to build support for maintaining the agency’s budget. Pruitt, the EPA administrator who hates the EPA, wanted to chop the agency’s budget by 31 percent. Even congressional Republicans thought that went too far. But Pruitt is working hard to create the same effect as deep cuts with lax enforcement of agency rules. That has the obvious benefit of helping industrial polluters, at least some of whom were contributors to Trump’s campaign, and the obvious drawback of damaging the environment and potentially harming the health of people protected by rules, all of which have been developed after extensive study and public comments. Charles Tiefer, who teaches contract law at the University of Baltimore, noted that the no-bid aspect of the contract with Definers Group seemed to indicate that the firm was hired solely for ideological reasons. “This has crony favoritism and bias written all over it,” he said. “This is not merely letting the fox into the henhouse. This is hiring, at a high price, the fox.” Indeed. As we have seen, so very much of the Trump regime is populated by foxes, men and women whose chief reason for being hired is their hatred for the mission of the agencies and departments to which they have been appointed. As can be seen at EPA, any employees who object are being watched by an organization focused on curbing dissent and paid with our tax dollars. 

Tax-paid Republican opposition research group has been spying on EPA employees for a year

On Friday, I took note of an investigative piece written by three Mother Jones’ reporters about Definers Group, a Republican opposition research firm hired for $120,000 with a no-bid contract by the Environmental Protection Agency to  “track and shap
Daily Kos

Tax-paid Republican opposition research group has been spying on EPA employees for a year

On Friday, I took note of an investigative piece written by three Mother Jones’ reporters about Definers Group, a Republican opposition research firm hired for $120,000 with a no-bid contract by the Environmental Protection Agency to  “track and shape press coverage of the agency.”  As it turns out, that’s not all the group is doing. Founded by Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign manager, and Joe Pounder, another longtime Republican operative, Definers has for the past year been investigating EPA employees critical of the Trump regime, according to Eric Lipton and Lisa Freedman at The New York Times. They report: A vice president for the firm, Allan Blutstein, federal records show, has submitted at least 40 Freedom of Information Act requests to the E.P.A. since President Trump was sworn in. Many of those requests target employees known to be questioning management at the E.P.A. since Scott Pruitt, the agency’s administrator, was confirmed. Mr. Blutstein, in an interview, said he was taking aim at “resistance” figures in the federal government, adding that he hoped to discover whether they had done anything that might embarrass them or hurt their cause. [...] The requests focused on agency employees like Michael Cox, who worked in the E.P.A.’s Seattle office and had sent a retirement notice in March to colleagues that raised questions about Mr. Pruitt’s management as well as agency employees who had participated in a public outreach program called “Why do you love the E.P.A.,” which tried to build support for maintaining the agency’s budget. Pruitt, the EPA administrator who hates the EPA, wanted to chop the agency’s budget by 31 percent. Even congressional Republicans thought that went too far. But Pruitt is working hard to create the same effect as deep cuts with lax enforcement of agency rules. That has the obvious benefit of helping industrial polluters, at least some of whom were contributors to Trump’s campaign, and the obvious drawback of damaging the environment and potentially harming the health of people protected by rules, all of which have been developed after extensive study and public comments. Charles Tiefer, who teaches contract law at the University of Baltimore, noted that the no-bid aspect of the contract with Definers Group seemed to indicate that the firm was hired solely for ideological reasons. “This has crony favoritism and bias written all over it,” he said. “This is not merely letting the fox into the henhouse. This is hiring, at a high price, the fox.” Indeed. As we have seen, so very much of the Trump regime is populated by foxes, men and women whose chief reason for being hired is their hatred for the mission of the agencies and departments to which they have been appointed. As can be seen at EPA, any employees who object are being watched by an organization focused on curbing dissent and paid with our tax dollars. 

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