How Amazon’s Giant Glass Spheres Embody the Excess and Exploitation of the New Gilded Age (photos)

by Scott Creighton

One week from tomorrow, Jeff Bezos (arguably the wealthiest human in history) will feature himself prominently in a new commercial aired during the Super Bowl in an effort to promote/sell his home surveillance system called Alexa. Jeff and the Deep State of Big Business would love for you to put one of these listening devices in every room of your home (Walmart is practically giving them away to their income-challenged shoppers), including your children’s berdooms, so every sound and every action can be recorded, analyzed, processed and monetized into The Internet of Things for future use. The fact that Bezos and Amazon received a $600 million contract from the CIA to build and operate a massive storage facility so they can house all the info they steal from your home shouldn’t be a problem for you, right? Nor should congress approving a Defense Department budget that includes a $53 BILLION dollar deal to make Amazon the sole provider (and purchasing agent) of office provisions and other sundry items for the entire Department of Defense.

Techies are beside themselves swooning in anticipation of the opportunity to see their new John Galt in a commercial pushing his home intrusion product himself. Alexa is so damn hip after all, it’s like having your best Starbucks buddy right there with you every day of the week. Only this one always knows what too say… and what NOT to.

screenshot of Lord God King Bezos “acting”

As it turns out, one week prior to his thespian debut, Bezos is rolling out another reveal for the world: his new giant glass balls. And, once again, the techies are swooning:

“Three years ago, Amazon.com Inc.‘s horticulturalist was giving Jeff Bezos a preview of what the company’s three plant-filled spheres—the centerpiece of its $4 billion downtown Seattle office project—would look like on opening day.

One rendering showed the view from a 30-foot-high suspension bridge looking down on a tree. The next showed the same tree as it would look five years later, branches stretching high above the bridge to form a canopy, giving Amazonians the feeling of walking through a rainforest

The online retailer is scheduled to unveil the spheres Monday morning following seven years of planning and construction. The glass orbs were built to let Amazon workers escape from emails, meetings, reports and deadlines to walk along stone paths beside waterfalls, let ferns from South America brush their shoulders and the moist, tropical air fill their lungs.” Spenser Soper

The giant glass spheres are located in Seattle attached to Amazon’s corporate headquarters and the sole purpose of them, aside from being a pompous display of wealth and power, is to give their corporate employees a place to relax during the work day. Well, give them a place to relax and at the same time feel privileged, special, unique and … entitled.

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House to vote on giving Amazon $53 billion deal to become main Pentagon supplier

from the WSWS

Members of the US House of Representatives and Senate Armed Services committees announced Wednesday that they have reached agreement on the proposed $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defense spending bill. This astronomical figure—an $80 billion increase over spending in 2016 and roughly $26 billion more than was requested by President Donald Trump—is a clear signal that the US will expand its ongoing wars around the world and is preparing to engage in far broader conflicts potentially involving North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China.

The NDAA will now be voted on by the House of Representatives, where it has been rubber-stamped every year since 1961, before being signed into law by Trump. While reporting by the bourgeois press on the NDAA has been limited overall, a key section of the bill, titled “Procurement Through Commercial E-Commerce Portals,” has been almost entirely overlooked. This section establishes the framework whereby Amazon will be able to corner the market for Defense Department procurements worth roughly $53 billion, and its inclusion in the NDAA is a product of the direct links connecting Amazon with the state and military-intelligence apparatus.

Already marked as a semi-official wing of the US military-intelligence apparatus by their back-room deal with the CIA, Amazon will likely soon become the primary supplier for numerous items demanded by the Defense Department.

The Pentagon will now purchase office equipment, internet service, and all other equipment needed to direct its out war crimes directly from Amazon, both in the US and at its military bases internationally. In other words, if the bill becomes law, Amazon will be providing hundreds of thousands of CIA agents, military personnel, prosecutors, and immigration agents with their pencils, desks, and chairs…

[read more here]