The world’s oldest undeciphered writing system, which has so far defied attempts to uncover its 5,000-year-old secrets, could be about to be decoded by Oxford University academics.
This international research project is already casting light on a lost bronze age middle eastern society where enslaved workers lived on rations close to the starvation level.
“I think we are finally on the point of making a breakthrough,” says Jacob Dahl, fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and director of the Ancient World Research Cluster.
- Proto-Elamite is the name given to a writing system developed in an area that is now in south-western Iran
- It was adopted about 3200BC and was borrowed from neighbouring Mesopotamia
- It was written from right to left in wet clay tablets
- There are more than a thousand surviving tablets in this writing
- The biggest group of such texts was collected by 19th Century French archaeologists and brought back to the Louvre
- While other ancient writing, such as Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sumerian and Mesopotamian, have been deciphered – attempts with proto-Elamite have proved unsuccessful
CONTINUE READING: BBC News – Breakthrough in world’s oldest undeciphered writing.
The Benghazi Controversy, Explained | Mother Jones.
Follow the link for a good breakdown of events surrounding the Benghazi attack and aftermath. I know it’s just par for the course in American politics to use this as leverage against opponents, but I don’t really understand this outrage over the course of events here. Romney made a big deal over Obama not calling this an act of terror right off the bat (he did, but oh, well).
What it seemed to me was that the White House and the State Department were reporting what the intelligence was in real time for the American people, always qualified by the statement that these were just preliminary findings as the investigations proceeded.
The alternative could have been to say absolutely nothing until all the facts were in, which would also have outraged political opponents and the public. Or the President could have just shot from the hip, blamed Al Qaeda immediately, and strongly condemned “the terrorists” before knowing exactly what the hell happened, which seems rather GW Bush-esque. Maybe he could have jumped in a fighter jet and dropped a few bombs directly on Benghazi live on TV. That might have pleased the GOP. Or not. Probably not.
I think we need to be careful of what we’re asking for in this situation. It is a good thing for our government to keep the people apprised of national security events, not stonewall us OR make up some shit to sound tough. The Republicans have manufactured outrage over something that just isn’t true. The President’s measured comments the day after the attack made clear to everyone EXCEPT Romney and company that he felt this was an act of terror and that he would do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of the attack and bring the culprits to justice.
It may become clear that there were security failures in Benghazi, for which the President may have to answer. He has stated that he takes full responsibility for sending diplomats into harm’s way for the sake of foreign relations. This “controversy” distracts us from finding out what happened and how best to prevent it from happening again.
In recent weeks, a flurry of news coverage has focused on an undemocratic trend in workplaces around the country: employers telling their workers which politicians they should vote for. CEOs for Murray Energy, Koch Industries, ASG Software and Westgate Resorts have pressured their employees to vote for particular political candidates, like Mitt Romney.
The Nation has found that the phenomenon appears far more wide-ranging than previously known. Businesses throughout Washington State, along with a loose network of hundreds of coal and mining companies, are preparing to urge employees to vote for specific political candidates. Meanwhile, lobbyists in Washington are working furiously to encourage more corporations to adopt these tactics.
One of the lesser-known consequences of the Citizens United decision is how corporations gained the power to explicitly recommend candidates to their rank-and-file workers. Before, corporations were limited to mostly encouraging civic participation. Now, managers can make political appeals for a candidate in the workplace.
This November, corporations are testing their new Supreme Court–granted rights for the first time in a presidential election. The coal industry is a good place to observe this shifting landscape.
Since 2004, lobbyists for the coal and mining industry have promoted something called “Mine the Vote,” an effort to organize employees and get them to the polls.
CONTINUE READING: Is Your Boss Going to ‘Mine’ Your Vote? More Corporations Step Up Coercion | The Nation.
“If you believe in evolution, you can’t be in favour of homosexuality, or the ducks will get you in the end.”
via Homosexuality Will Lead to Enslavement of Humanity by Ducks Warns Homeschooled Teen.
The Missouri Republican Senate candidate who asserted that women could not get pregnant through “legitimate rape” shared some more wisdom with a tea party group on Thursday, telling them that evolution was not “a matter of science” because “all of the different things that have to be lined up” to create life.
“I’ve taken a look at both sides of the thing and it seems to me that evolution takes a tremendous amount of faith,” Rep. Todd Akin said in audio of the event obtained by Think Progress. “To have all of the sudden all the different things that have to be lined up to create something as sophisticated as life, it takes a lot of faith.”
“I don’t see it as even a matter of science because I don’t know that you can prove one or the other,” he explained. That’s one of those things. We can talk about theology and all of those other things but I’m basically concerned about, you’ve got a choice between [Democratic Sen.] Claire McCaskill and myself.”
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), who sits on the House science committee (WTF!) with Akin, recently said that evolution and other scientific theories were “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
Hear the audio: Akin: Evolution is not ‘a matter of science’ | The Raw Story.
Jon Stewart featured this clip of a speech by FDR on the Daily Show after picking apart the inconsistencies of Romney’s many claims. Romney says a lot of things without saying much at all. He will cut taxes 20 percent, reduce the debt and eliminate the deficit without really specifying where he will come up with all that revenue to pay for his big ideas. Hey, it sounds good. No pain, all gain…maybe it’s too good to be true?
“Let me warn you, and let me warn the nation, against the smooth evasion that says ‘Of course we believe these things. We believe in social security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die. We believe in all these things. But we do not like the way that the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything!“
View the Daily Show segment “Vague Against the Machine” HERE.
I was both shocked and horrified to watch this video about the controversial “Stop and Frisk” policies in New York City. Innocent citizens are regularly stopped, questioned, searched, and harassed by cops who are under pressure from their superiors to fill unofficial quotas. Officers who do not get with the program face demotions, hazardous duty, and negative performance reviews. The young men who are targeted, mostly black and Latino, report being verbally and physically abused. This video features audio of a young black man being threatened with arrest for being a “fucking mutt.” Anyone under the illusion of ours being a post-racial society should open their eyes to the reality of racial profiling. Also disturbing is the stark disregard for the fourth amendment guaranteed to all Americans:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This video is short, about 13 minutes, but very powerful. There should be a public outcry against the violation of our inalienable rights. Consider also the plight of the police officer who would dare try to avoid violating the rights of American citizens. Consider his or her dreams of helping others perverted by this heinous practice. It isn’t difficult to imagine why officers frequently commit suicide or become dependent on drugs and alcohol to cope with the guilt and pressure.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. — Thomas Jefferson