Second Monday, Last Week of 2021

Watching, listening, and snitching: Amazon has found a powerful ally to help it protect its sprawling operations from fraud and abuse: the U.S. government. The company has increasingly tipped off the Justice Department and FBI to investigate Amazon’s own employees and the sellers using its platform. In addition, it has hired dozens of former DOJ and FBI employees, some of whom are filling out its internal teams aimed at policing its platform. The federal government has also indicted 35 people for crimes related to Amazon in the past year and a half, according to an analysis of public records — a number that exceeds indictments related to other comparably large companies like Walmart and FedEx.  Amazon either tipped off the government or cooperated closely with the investigations. Remember that when you order your next copy of the “Anarchists Cookbook”.

He’s no mayor Pete: Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro announced on Monday that he would begin a 15-day backpacking vacation with his wife and “first combatant” Cilia Flores, telling Venezuelans, “forget about me for 15 days.” Maduro’s vacation coincides with Christmas week and the new year, typically a time of large celebrations in South America. Venezuela’s electric grid failed once again last week, plunging 20 of the nation’s 23 states into darkness. Maduro’s regime did not offer any solutions for the problem, instead blaming unspecified enemies – presumably, the United States – for “attacking” the country. Amid extreme food insecurity, unreliable water and electric supplies, and no functional plan to address the rising threat of the omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus around the world, Maduro told his citizens to simply forget that he exists in a video initially posted to Chinese social media outlet TikTok. Obviously, he has read the Buttigieg “School of Politics”.

 This time will be different: Black Lives Matter protester Cortez Rice, accused of threatening the judge overseeing the trial over Daunte Right’s fatal shooting was ordered to be held without bail Monday after he was deemed a flight risk, according to reports.  His lawyers argued he deserved bail after he had been denied bond earlier in the month. That was after he allegedly violated his probation for the third time. Rice allegedly live streamed himself inside a Minneapolis condominium where Rice reportedly made threatening statements toward Judge Chu and demanding she reverse her decision. She did, but claims it had nothing to do with Rice. He’s already left the state while under orders not to do so but promises to be good this time. Prosecutors argue; “This is the third violation on a case where he received a very, very generous departure from the guidelines on a gun case, which used to be unheard of, and he managed to get at least two violations on that very generous sentence, and then he picked up another criminal offense,” Rosas reportedly said. “The gun case alone would be sufficient for me to conclude that he would be a public safety risk.” He is charged in a “gun case”, violated parole 3 times, left the state, and threatened a judge. “Public safety risk”? Ya think?

Best offer I’ve heard: A Las Vegas strip club is trying to get more vaccinated by offering shots with a view. Visitors to Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in Nevada will be able to get a booster or vaccine on Tuesday in partnership with Immunize Nevada through its “Boobs for Boosters” popup clinic. Anyone who shows up at the strip club can get both first and second doses of either Pfizer and Moderna, or a shot of Johnson and Johnson. People can also get a booster shot if they have not already gotten one of either Pfizer or Moderna. wait, there’s more: those who can show proof of being fully vaccinated and having received a booster will get a $200 gift card for all of GoBest’s ( the club management) venues and dinner for two at one of its restaurants.

If you got a moment, please say a prayer for my Brother Danny Pagan. He and Kimmy were making the move to Louisiana and caught Covid. He’s on a ventilator and it’s bad…very bad. Please take a moment and ask Him, for him, for some peace. He’s a good man.

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