Be Cheerful, Enjoy Your Life

Words to live by.

A 2,400 year-old mosaic featuring a wine-drinking skeleton and the ancient equivalent of a self-help message has been uncovered in Turkey.

Reclining on a cushion, the skeleton holds a wine cup in one hand while bread and an amphora of wine sit close to hand. Above it, in Greek, is written the phrase, “be cheerful, enjoy your life”.

The mosaic was found in the Turkish province of Hatay near the Syrian border and was part of a richly-decorated floor of what was most likely a wealthy family’s dining room.

WineSkeleton

My All Time Favorite Video

…of his. Well. Crap.

And the shame is so many of today’s generation will have no idea what they missed because he embargoed his music and videos.

And now Prince

damn

Vox Took a Look in the Liberal Mirror This Morning

I’m not sure why, but they ~ to their credit ~ pretty honestly reported what they saw.

The smug style in American liberalism

…The consequence was a shift in liberalism’s center of intellectual gravity. A movement once fleshed out in union halls and little magazines shifted into universities and major press, from the center of the country to its cities and elite enclaves. Minority voters remained, but bereft of the material and social capital required to dominate elite decision-making, they were largely excluded from an agenda driven by the new Democratic core: the educated, the coastal, and the professional.

It is not that these forces captured the party so much as it fell to them. When the laborer left, they remained.

…Suffice it to say, by the 1990s the better part of the working class wanted nothing to do with the word liberal. What remained of the American progressive elite was left to puzzle: What happened to our coalition?

Why did they abandon us?

What’s the matter with Kansas?

The smug style arose to answer these questions. It provided an answer so simple and so emotionally satisfying that its success was perhaps inevitable: the theory that conservatism, and particularly the kind embraced by those out there in the country, was not a political ideology at all.

The trouble is that stupid hicks don’t know what’s good for them. They’re getting conned by right-wingers and tent revivalists until they believe all the lies that’ve made them so wrong. They don’t know any better. That’s why they’re voting against their own self-interest.

To Bloomberg, Everything Is Either Climate Change Or Racism

God, they get annoying. This morning’s example is this long, highly researched, data-packed article on Amazon’s Prime Same-Day Delivery service

For residents of minority urban neighborhoods, access to Amazon.com’s vast array of products—from Dawn dish soap and Huggies diapers to Samsung flatscreen TVs—can be a godsend. Unlike whiter ZIP codes, these parts of town often lack well-stocked stores and quality supermarkets. White areas get organic grocers and designer boutiques. Black ones get minimarts and dollar stores. People in neighborhoods that retailers avoid must travel farther and sometimes pay more to obtain household necessities. “I don’t have a car, so I love to have stuff delivered,” says Tamara Rasberry, a human resources professional in Washington, D.C., who spends about $2,000 a year on Amazon Prime, the online retailer’s premium service that guarantees two-day delivery of tens of millions of items (along with digital music, e-books, streaming movies, and TV shows) for a yearly $99 membership fee. Rasberry, whose neighborhood of Congress Heights is more than 90 percent black, says shopping on Amazon lets her bypass the poor selection and high prices of nearby shops.

As Amazon has expanded rapidly to become “the everything store,” it’s offered the promise of an egalitarian shopping experience. On Amazon and other online retailers, a black customer isn’t viewed with suspicion, much less followed around by store security. Most of Amazon’s services are available to almost every address in the U.S. “We don’t know what you look like when you come into our store, which is vastly different than physical retail,” says Craig Berman, Amazon’s vice president for global communications. “We are ridiculously prideful about that. We offer every customer the same price. It doesn’t matter where you live.”

All well and good, right?

But WAIT

Yet as Amazon rolls out its upgrade to the Prime service, Prime Free Same-Day Delivery, that promise is proving harder to deliver on. The ambitious goal of Prime Free Same-Day is to eliminate one of the last advantages local retailers have over the e-commerce giant: instant gratification. In cities where the service is available, Amazon offers Prime members same-day delivery of more than a million products for no extra fee on orders over $35. Eleven months after it started, the service includes 27 metropolitan areas. In most of them, it provides broad coverage within the city limits. Take Amazon’s home town of Seattle, where every ZIP code within the city limits is eligible for same-day delivery and coverage extends well into the surrounding suburbs.

In six major same-day delivery cities, however, the service area excludes predominantly black ZIP codes to varying degrees, according to a Bloomberg analysis that compared Amazon same-day delivery areas with U.S. Census Bureau data.

In Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, cities still struggling to overcome generations of racial segregation and economic inequality, black citizens are about half as likely to live in neighborhoods with access to Amazon same-day delivery as white residents.

The disparity in two other big cities is significant, too. In New York City, same-day delivery is available throughout Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, but not in the Bronx and some majority-black neighborhoods in Queens. In some cities, Amazon same-day delivery extends many miles into the surrounding suburbs but isn’t available in some ZIP codes within the city limits.

Bloomberg then goes on and on with this implication that there is some nefarious plot afoot to specifically deny black Prime members the delivery service, this “right” they are yet again having stolen from them.

Because, you see, if you specifically go out of your way to not make decisions based on racial data you are, naturally, a racist:

Amazon, he says, has a “radical sensitivity” to any suggestion that neighborhoods are being singled out by race. “Demographics play no role in it. Zero.”

Amazon says its plan is to focus its same-day service on ZIP codes where there’s a high concentration of Prime members, and then expand the offering to fill in the gaps over time. “If you ever look at a map of service for Amazon, it will start out small and end up getting big,” he says.

This is a logical approach from a cost and efficiency perspective: Give areas with the most existing paying members priority access to a new product. Yet in cities where most of those paying members are concentrated in predominantly white parts of town, a solely data-driven calculation that looks at numbers instead of people can reinforce long-entrenched inequality in access to retail services. For people who live in black neighborhoods not served by Amazon, the fact that it’s not deliberate doesn’t make much practical difference. “They are offering different services to other people who don’t look like you but live in the same city,” says Rasberry.

No, they are not, because THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. Sorry; in fact, they don’t even CARE what you look like.

And that is their unpardonable sin.

What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?

Stanford students reject Western Civ

An effort by a group of Stanford University students to restore a Western civilization class requirement has been decisively rejected by the student body, with voting results released Monday showing it mustering less than 15 percent support.

A Guy With Street Cred Who Turned His Life Around Speaks Out

…which now renders him an “Uncle Thomas ass nigga,” among the nicer things being said.

So, Been a Little While Since the Attack

…and they’re JUST asking for the public’s help NOW?!?!

Johannes on the spot there, Belgium.

Sweeney Todd Production Gets A Little Too Realistic

I wonder if one of the kids was named “Nick?”

More likely “Slash”

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A high school musical in New Zealand got a little too real this week when a prop razor used in a throat-slitting scene ended up cutting the necks of two boys and sending them to a local hospital overnight.

Students at Saint Kentigern College in Auckland were performing the opening night of Sweeney Todd before parents and other audience members Wednesday when things went badly wrong. Set in Victorian London, the musical depicts a barber who slits his customer’s throats with a razor and uses the bodies to make meat pies.

The head of Saint Kentigern College, Steve Cole, told radio station Newstalk ZB the razor used in the show was real but had been bound in duct tape. He said he has no idea what went wrong during a scene midway through the Second Act.

Now, mind you, someone needs to explain how TWO kids cut cut.

One, that I can understand.

But the Second??

Labster Fishing

Happy Feet

…Lind recently looked up from her work to see an elderly couple walking through the studio door.

“And she’s like, ‘I’m Carol and this is Arne and it is on his bucket list to take tap dance lessons.’”

😀

Leaks Are Okay Right Up to Where

…they show the peasants the MONEY.

Panama Papers: Offshore Assets of World Leaders Revealed by Leak

An extensive investigation into the offshore financial dealings of the rich and famous was published by an international coalition of media outlets Sunday, based on a vast trove of documents said to have been leaked by an anonymous source.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, said the cache of 11.5 million records detailed the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars.

…The ICIJ said the documents included emails, financial spreadsheets, passports and corporate records detailing how powerful figures used banks, law firms and offshore shell companies to hide their assets. The data spanned a time frame of nearly 40 years, from 1977 through the end of 2015, it said.

Of course, some governments are interested in how/how MUCH dough got there as well

Tax Authorities to Investigate Some People Named in ‘Panama Papers’

Tax authorities in Australia and New Zealand are probing local clients of a Panama-based law firm at the center of a massive data leak for possible tax evasion.

…Britain’s Guardian newspaper said the documents showed a network of secret offshore deals and loans worth $2 billion led to close friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters couldn’t independently confirm those details.

…while others? Maybe not so much.

As I Said Yesterday

…when the news broke…

Apple still doesn’t know how FBI hacked San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone without their help

WASHINGTON – The FBI’s announcement that it mysteriously hacked into an iPhone is a public setback for Apple Inc., as consumers learned that they can’t keep the government out of even an encrypted device that U.S. officials had claimed was impossible to crack. Apple, meanwhile, remains in the dark about how to restore the security of its flagship product.

…and I’m serious:

“RUN, helpful 12 year old!!! RUNNNNN!!!!!

Filed Under: No Shit, Sherlock

They hate you, will not assimilate but won’t go home.

ERGO: Let’s let some more IN!!!

Europe’s Muslims hate the West

Young men like the perpetrators of the Brussels attacks refuse to embrace the social codes of Belgian life.

The first reaction to the Brussels massacres among postmodern European intellectuals was predictable: What did we, Europeans, do to them, our Muslims? How could followers of a religion that is proudly called “the religion of peace” commit these kinds of atrocities?

People like Peter Vandermeersch, the Belgian editor-in-chief of Dutch newspaper NRC-Handelsblad, and Belgian writer David Van Reybrouck, both accomplished intellectuals, argued that Belgium must have done something terrible to deserve this. Their line of reasoning: The terrorists’ fury must be a reaction to their inhumane treatment at the hands of the West.

So, we blame ourselves in order to remain blameless. Safer to blame our own societies and socioeconomic conditions than to blame the religious and cultural concepts with which terrorists poison their own minds.

…There is no difference at all in socioeconomic status between youngsters from a low-education, blue-collar Belgian background and youngsters from a Muslim migrant background. Both have to struggle, both have to overcome weak socioeconomic family situations.

In Spain, youth unemployment has reached 50 percent and the welfare state is less developed than in Belgium, yet Spanish citizens aren’t blowing themselves up in metro stations.

The other explanation for the high unemployment figures among Muslims in Europe has nothing to do with exclusion and discrimination. A large segment of the migrant population is doing just fine, but a significant number — some say as many as 50 percent — have not rid themselves of the mental and cultural conditions that have kept their home country in its “developing country” status. The denial of equal rights to women, the lack of separation of state and church, bad education, excessive religiosity, patriarchal machismo — these are all on display in areas with a high percentage of migrants, including Molenbeek.

And a late Easter message to Swillers inspired by our President’s Easter address:

Leave Muslims alone, YOU HATERS.

Have a GREAT day!

This Explains How the AP

…got so good at what they do.

Revealed: how Associated Press cooperated with the Nazis

Exclusive: German historian shows how news agency retained access in 1930s by promising not to undermine strength of Hitler regime

The Associated Press news agency entered a formal cooperation with the Hitler regime in the 1930s, supplying American newspapers with material directly produced and selected by the Nazi propaganda ministry, archive material unearthed by a German historian has revealed.

When the Nazi party seized power in Germany in 1933, one of its first objectives was to bring into line not just the national press, but international media too. The Guardian was banned within a year, and by 1935 even bigger British-American agencies such as Keystone and Wide World Photos were forced to close their bureaus after coming under attack for employing Jewish journalists.

Associated Press, which has described itself as the “marine corps of journalism” (“always the first in and the last out”) was the only western news agency able to stay open in Hitler’s Germany, continuing to operate until the US entered the war in 1941. It thus found itself in the presumably profitable situation of being the prime channel for news reports and pictures out of the totalitarian state.

The “marine corps” of journalism, HAH! Amazing how every scumbag operation on Earth tries to co-opt the best to cover itself.

I’d Be Careful How You Replace That Roll of Toilet Paper

Roll “UNDER” folks? They’re coming for YOU next.

Attorney General Lynch Looks Into Prosecuting ‘Climate Change Deniers’

In news that should shock and anger Americans, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that not only has she discussed internally the possibility of pursuing civil actions against so-called “climate change deniers,” but she has “referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action.”

We ARE a police state and Obama’s not even bothering with a glove.

I Knew We Were Doomed…

…as soon as TBS flashed that helpful graphic

Tony Bennet has never lost a game when leading by 10 or more points at halftime (68-0)

Rats.

Roger

Tango

American wife of Air Force colonel confirmed killed in Brussels terror attack after New York siblings also identified as being among the dead

Proof. There IS. A.

GOD!!!

Two Americans Confirmed Dead in Brussels Attacks

Oh, how awful. One of the missing sibling pairs.

Of course, in terrible times like these, we all mourn after our own fashion…

ObamaTango

In Case You Missed It

Alabama’s cadaverous looking governor, Robert Bentley, is in a bit of a pickle lately, thanks to some unwholesome remarks he made, released by a fired law enforcement cabinet officer in a tape yesterday, which was actually just the tip of the iceberg. Now, when he was running for re-election, there’d been some…speculation about why the dignified MRS. Bentley had suddenly moved out of the Governor’s home prior to the election and her lips were TIGHTLY sealed.

Ho, boy.

Thankfully, AL.com has just posted a pretty hilarious “apology” attempt…

Political Satire: Outtakes from Gov. Bentley’s apology

Everything sounds like a double entendre today! Thanks, Gov. Bentley. And thanks to Slow News Day, for this political satire video

Posted by al.com on Tharrrsdy, Marrrch 24, 2016

Filed Under: Not My Job

Sure glad it can’t happen here. Our locally elected officials are nothing like this:

Just four weeks before the carnage in Paris, a list of nearly 100 suspected Islamic militants – many with links to Syria – was passed to the mayor of the Molenbeek, the Brussels district that now stands at the heart of the web of terror linking the atrocities in France and Belgium.

Provided by Belgium’s security services, it included not only the names but also the addresses of men who were to become pivotal in the bloodshed and horror in Brussels and Paris.

For among those on the list of militants in Molenbeek and Schaerbeek, another district of Brussels that has emerged as a haven for terrorists, was failed Paris suicide bomber Salah Abdeslam, his brother Brahim, who blew himself up during the November 13 attacks that killed 130 in the French capital, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the ringleader in Paris and Najim Laachraoui, one of the Brussels airport bombers….

…Disturbingly at the time the list was passed to her, Molenbeek’s mayor Françoise Schepmans clearly did not realise its significance, telling an interviewer:

What was I supposed to do about them? It is not my job to track possible terrorists. It is the responsibility of the federal police.’

I’ll be watching curiously to see what her chances of re-election look like whenever that comes up. In that neck of the woods, she might do pretty well. Or, like, Flint or something.

Who Needs The Anarchist’s Cookbook

…when you have the NYT giving you pointers on how to make explosives

Making TATP typically requires meticulous, time-consuming work, adding the catalyst, drop by drop, to a mixture that must be stirred and kept cool, often with a large quantity of ice.

Without specialized equipment, little can be rushed. Adding the catalyst too quickly can lead to aggressive bubbling and rising temperatures. If the reaction gets too hot, it can cause inadvertent explosions.

Even after TATP precursors are acquired, its manufacture can attract attention, because some of the chemicals often involved can generate strong odors.

Drying TATP at room temperature, a last step after rinsing and filtering, also requires a fairly large area, another American official said, unless a vacuum drying chamber is involved. At that point, the TATP would be stored in a relatively airtight container, but if pure, it could not be stored long. After a few weeks, it would be much less powerful.

The intelligence on the explosives suggested that the attack could have been more lethal, the first official said, because two improvised explosive devices constructed with TATP, ammonium nitrate, and a mix of metal bolts and nails were found in suitcases, undetonated, at the airport. A suicide belt was also recovered at the airport, and two more suitcases with bombs were later confiscated during a sweep of a residence used by the suspects.

…The officials noted that in the Paris attacks, TATP had been used as a main charge — packed into smaller, plate-like bundles that were sealed with tape and inserted in suicide vests. The tape was apparently intended to limit the explosive’s exposure to oxygen and slow its decay.

Now class, any questions?

Houston, THIS…

…is the problem.

Never was he so blind as he who WOULD NOT SEE.

Rob Ford Has Died

So, SO young. Man, he was a mess, but he sure knew how to shake things up.

Rest in peace, big guy.

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford dies after fighting cancer

Rob Ford, the pugnacious, populist former mayor of Toronto whose career crashed in a drug-driven, obscenity-laced debacle, died Tuesday after fighting cancer, his family said. He was 46.

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