Tag Archives: amazon.com

And it begins. What will YOU do when they come?

Feinstein rumored to be pushing semi-auto ban if Obama reelected

By: David Codrea

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
? Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

California Senator Dianne Feinstein‘s Washington, D.C. “…staff held meetings on Friday with FTB/ATF [Firearms Technology Branch/ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] legal staff to discuss a new ‘Assault Weapons Ban,” Jim Shepherd of The Shooting Wire reported yesterday, characterizing the meeting as a “rumor” based on “pretty good intelligence.”

Feinstein’s rumored bill “would ban pistol grips and “high-capacity” magazines, eliminate any grandfathering and ban sales of ‘weapons in possession’” Shepherd writes.

Gun Rights Examiner has been holding on to identical information attempting to get verification, but with its publication in a prominent gun owner community venue, it becomes legitimate to share the discussion. This correspondent received an email from a source purported to be forwarded from Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which stated:

I just heard that Sen. Feinstein’s attorney is meeting right now with folks from FTB and ATF legal (Eric Epstein [legal], Todd Martin [Legal] and Earl Griffith [FTB] and others) to discuss a new SAW ban, that she would want to start pushing through as soon as (if) Obama gets reelected.

– – No pistol grip allowed
– – No HC Mags
– – No grandfathering
– – No sale permissible if in possession

That is all I know right now

This is certainly consistent with President Obama’s call in the debates to re-up the federal semi-auto ban (as well as go after handguns), and is further circumstantially corroborated by a new NSSF release relating how Feinstein continues to defend ATF actions in Fast and Furious gunwalking, all the while still “claiming, erroneously, that 70 percent of guns seized in Mexico were traced to the United States.”

Since Keane was the purported source of the email, he was the one to ask about its authenticity.

“Just got this forwarded to me–is it genuine?” this correspondent emailed earlier today.

No reply has been sent at this writing, so the query was extended to another insider source to probe its credibility.

“The ATF personnel noted are indeed the players,” the source replied, “but what is noticeably absent is anyone from the executive level, AD or DAD [Assistant Director/Deputy Assistant Director]–the policy implementer/makers. That part is strange and shows that while ATF may have had to go to the meeting, the Bureau and DoJ are not necessarily supportive.

“In addition, the cost of enforcement and regulation would be tremendous,” the source continued. “I don’t see the financial aspect being supported if such a law were passed unless it is revenue neutral and ownership was taxed like NYC does with guns.”

There’s then the matter of how likely, barring an unforeseen event, such a bill would be to make it to the White House for signature. While the current political thought is not very, political thought can change with the circumstances of the day, and who really knows what events could put such legislation on the front burner?

But even if Feinstein’s latest assault on liberty fizzles, one unexpected prediction in the source’s reply may prove to be a bombshell if [his/her] instincts are right, and remember, this is someone who knows the Bureau and the culture it operates in, so the opinion can’t just be dismissed as wild speculation:

“My true feeling is that ATF is likely toast after the election, no matter who wins.”

Mall giant Simon Property Group sues Indiana to tax Amazon.com sales

Mall giant sues Indiana to tax Amazon.com sales
APBy KEN KUSMER –

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Shopping mall giant Simon Property Group sued the Indiana Department of Revenue on Thursday to try to force it to collect taxes from Amazon.com Inc. for all sales made in the state.

The nation’s biggest mall operator, whose Indianapolis headquarters are across the street from the Statehouse, said it was not seeking monetary damages in the lawsuit filed in Marion County courts.

“This action is being filed to benefit all of Indiana’s taxpayers and the state’s bricks-and-mortar retailers,” Simon said in a statement.

Simon, which operates 27 Indiana shopping centers, said it requested the Revenue Department begin collecting sales taxes on sales made by Amazon.com within the state’s borders as required by state law.

Amazon operates three distribution warehouses in Indiana and announced in July it plans to open a fourth in the state.

“Amazon.com is required by Indiana law to collect and remit sales and use taxes to the state, for sales made over the Internet, but has consistently refused to do so even though it is required by current Indiana laws …” Simon said. “Main Street retailers are being harmed by this unequal playing field in Indiana and their existence is being jeopardized and threatens the employment of hundreds of thousands of retail employees in our state.”

The state levies a 7 percent sales tax on most goods, giving online retailers a sizable advantage.

Revenue Department spokesman Bob Dittmer said the agency had not seen the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.

An influential lawmaker, state Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said last month he would approach other members of the General Assembly on the need to apply the state sales tax to online retailers. He estimated taxing online sales could net the state up to $400 million annually and would put online retailers on the same playing field as traditional merchants.

A 1992 Supreme Court ruling effectively bars states from collecting taxes from most online operations. Kenley is president of the national group lobbying Congress to change the law.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday on a media telephone line at Seattle-based Amazon.com. Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said last month the company believed “the sales tax issue needs to be solved at the federal level.”

Push for Internet Sales Tax has Online Retailers running

Amazon ends deal with 25,000 California websites

Custom Search

Jan Norman
Orange County Register

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law California’s tax on Internet sales through affiliate advertising which will immediately cut small-business website revenue 20% to 30%, experts say.

The bill, AB 28X, takes effect immediately. The state Board of Equalization says the tax will raise $200 million a year, but critics claim it will raise nothing because online retailers will end their affiliate programs rather than collect the tax.

Amazon has already emailed its termination of its affiliate advertising program with 25,000 websites. The letter says, in part:

(The bill) specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.

The new law won’t affect customers, Amazon said, but added that the immediate termination of the affiliate program also applies to endless.com, myhabit.com and smallparts.com.

(Full disclosure: I have a personal website that has been an Amazon affiliate. It made $2 last quarter. That is not 30% of my income.) [More…]

Almost all the California Amazon affiliates have fewer than 75 employees and a large percentage have no employees, according to Rebecca Madigan, executive director of the Performance Marketing Association, a Camarillo-based nationwide trade association.

“This law won’t impact Amazon that much but it is a crisis for website owners who make revenue by placing ads on their websites for thousands of online retailers,
” Madigan said. “Most of them don’t have a physical presence in California.”

California Retailers Association stated: “We thank Governor Jerry Brown and the leaders in the California State Legislature who have demonstrated their leadership and commitment to California businesses by passing and signing e-fairness into law. Small and large businesses across the state have been held at a major disadvantage by the current law that out-of-state online companies like Amazon.com and Overstock.com have exploited for years. This has cost us jobs and revenues.”

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 ruled that states cannot tax businesses that aren’t physically within their boundaries. Such taxes would regulate interstate commerce, which is a federal government prerogative.

However, New York in 2008 passed a law to require companies with online affiliate advertising programs to collect sales tax for sales through those affiliates based in New York. Since then Rhode Island, North Carolina, Illinois, Arkansas and Connecticut passed similar laws.

Amazon is suing New York over the law, and the Performance Marketing Association is suing Illinois.

Amazon affiliate Keith Posehn, owner of zorz.com in San Diego, said he had affiliate advertising agreements with more than 70 companies and these programs were 35% of his company revenue before the California legislature passed a similar bill last year. Then-Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed that bill.

“We got 70 termination letters in one night before he vetoed it,”
Posehn said. After that, he started changing his business away from affiliate advertising and has started a new mobile application company.

“I have pitched investors and several question the wisdom of staying in California,” Posehn said. “Some venture capitalists are very keen on placing startups outside California because start-up costs are less.”

However, another Amazon affiliate, Glenn Richards, an independent recording artist in Orange County (MightyFleissRadio.com), is angry with Amazon and its head Jeff Bezos.

“I think that Amazon.com’s decision to throw their affiliates, (including myself) under the bus is a national disgrace,” Richards said. “Jeff Bezos should be ashamed of his conduct. His bully boy practice and tactics of extinguishing small business in California should be (condemned). Small business has no power…and no hope to confront Internet giants like Amazon.com.”

Board of Equalization Member George Runner blasted Brown for signing the law. “Even as Governor Jerry Brown lifted his pen to sign this legislation, thousands of affiliates across California were losing their jobs. The so-called ‘Amazon tax’ is truly a lose-lose proposition for California. Not only won’t we see the promised revenues, we’ll actually lose income tax revenue as affiliates move to other states.”

SOURCE