Amazon’s $185 Billion Pay-to-Play System

Source: The American Prospect
by David Dayen

“Amazon now takes 45 cents in fees out of every dollar of third-party sales at its marketplace, according to updated statistics in a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The e-commerce giant’s extraction from third-party sales revenue was just 19 percent in 2014. It grew to 27 percent in 2017, 35 percent in 2020, and reached 45 percent this year, according to ILSR’s figures. This has imposed significant pressure on sellers’ ability to make a profit, and is contributing to inflation woes as fees get passed on to customers in the form of higher prices. Overall, Amazon is projected to make $185 billion in fees from third-party sellers in 2023: $125 billion from U.S. third-party sellers and another $60 billion from foreign-market businesses and vendor ads. In 2014, that number was $13 billion. Put another way, in nine years, Amazon has increased its fee revenue 14-fold.” (09/21/23)

Biden regime announces $600 million to produce “free” COVID tests

Source: Associated Press

“The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is providing $600 million in funding to produce new at-home COVID-19 tests and is restarting a website allowing Americans to again order up to four free [sic] tests per household — aiming to prevent possible shortages during a rise in coronavirus cases that has typically come during colder months. The Department of Health and Human Services says orders can be placed at starting Sept. 25, and that no-cost [sic] tests will be delivered for free [sic] by the United States Postal Service.” [editor’s note: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free COVID Test – TLK] (09/20/23)

Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock, 09/20/23

Source: Freedom’s Phoenix

“Etienne de la Boetie2 (the author of ‘Government’ — The Biggest Scam in History … Exposed!) comes on the program to expose the theft of fractional reserve banking and the monopolization of everything.” (09/20/23)

New York Police find fentanyl in trapdoor at daycare

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Police have found a ‘large quantity’ of fentanyl, other narcotics, and drug paraphernalia hidden in a trapdoor at a New York City daycare where a boy died from fentanyl exposure. Photos released by New York City Police Department show more than a dozen plastic bags filled with brown and white powders. The investigation is ongoing, police said. A one-year-old died of a suspected drug overdose at the daycare last Friday. Nicholas Dominici had been at the Divino Niño nursery for just a week. Fentanyl had been hidden in the nap room under a mat as he slept, police said. Three other children were admitted to hospital after being exposed to the powerful narcotic at the centre in the Bronx. An analysis of urine from one of the victims confirmed the presence of the drug.” (09/21/23)

Fact Checking Biden’s UN Speech: Words Versus Action

by Ted Snider

“US President Joe Biden’s speech before the General Assembly on September 19 spent surprisingly little time on Russia and the war in Ukraine and, in many ways, hit many of the right notes with its praise of ‘Sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights … the core tenets of the U.N. Charter, the pillars of peaceful relations among nations.’ But America’s past performance on these very issues weaken the persuasiveness and sincerity of the appeal.” (09/21/23)

FL: Parkland school building to be demolished next summer

Source: SFGate

“The South Florida school building where 14 students and three staff members were fatally shot in a 2018 massacre will be demolished next summer, officials announced Thursday. The demolition of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 building, which has remained closed and locked behind a fence since the Parkland shooting, is scheduled to take place immediately after the end of the school year, Broward County Public Schools said in a statement. ‘We understand the urgency of this matter, but it is essential to prioritize safety above all else,’ it said. ‘In preparation for the demolition, crews will clean and clear the building, adhering to state and the Environmental Protection Agency’s landfill disposal regulations.’ … Members of the community have been calling for its demolition for years, but prosecutors said they needed to preserve it as evidence for the murder trial of the shooter.” [editor’s note: Destroying a place because something bad happened there isn’t about “safety,” it’s about feelz – TLK] (09/21/23)

China: Syria’s Assad arrives in China on first visit since the beginning of civil war

Source: ABC News

“Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived in China on Thursday on his first visit to the country since the start of Syria’s 12-year conflict during which Beijing has been one of his main backers. China’s Foreign Ministry said Assad would attend the opening ceremony of the Asian Games, an international sports event beginning Saturday in the eastern city of Hangzhou. Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Assad’s visit to China would ‘further deepen political mutual trust and cooperation in various fields between the two countries and push bilateral relations to a new level.’ … Assad and Chinese President Xi Jinping were set to meet for ‘in-depth talks’ on a range of issues, Mao added.” (09/21/23)

Stumbling Towards Old Age, And Looking for Someone to Lean On

Source: TomDispatch
by Rebecca Gordon

“For twelve years starting in 1982, my partner and I in San Francisco joined with two friends in Seattle to produce Lesbian Contradiction: A Journal of Irreverent Feminism, or LesCon for short. We started out typing four-inch columns of text and laying out what was to become a quarterly tabloid on a homemade light table. We used melted paraffin from an electric waxer to affix strips of paper to guide sheets the size of the final pages. Eventually, we acquired Macintosh computers, trekking to a local copy shop to pay 25 cents a page for laser-printed originals. We still had to paste them together the old-fashioned way to create our tabloid-sized pages. The finished boards would then go to a local commercial printing press where our run of 2,000 copies would be printed. This was, of course, before ordinary people had even heard of email.” (09/21/23)