Amazon.com bans Confederate flag sales as ‘offensive’ but happily sells slave bondage simulated rape contraptions depicting women being tortured and physically abused

amazon con flag

There’s nothing quite like the double standard of the cognitively intolerant. In a mad scramble toward mindless social conformity, Amazon.com and other retailers have practically stampeded over each other to announce bans on sales of the Confederate flag.

It has to be one of the most stupid, idiotic moments in U.S. corporate history… not merely because it is so slavishly desperate to appease the howling masses of hysterical thought police, but also because it’s filled with extreme contradictions about what else Amazon happily sells from its website.

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Wal-Mart, Pepsi and 20 Major Food Companies Consider Lobbying for GMO Labeling?

 

(Activist Post)A lot of events are converging to create a tipping point to finally allow the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.

The FDA is likely to approve GM salmon and apples against the people’s will. Many big food companies have received massive social media backlash from consumers, particularly parent companies to organic ones that heavily funded campaigns against GMO labeling.

For instance, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream got shrapnel from some of these “Traitor’s Boycotts” because its parent company Unilever funded to prevent labeling. Ben & Jerry’s will remove its GM ingredients by the end of 2013.

The funded and questionable failure of California’s Proposition 37 has stoked the flames since last September.

Consumers have even themselves begun labeling grocery products with a passionate drive to bring awareness to others. Wal-mart got flak last summer for selling unlabeled and possibly dangerous GM sweet corn.

Most recently, Washington state introduced a labeling initiative for the 2013 ballot.

Their concern is not only about “right to know” but surrounds fears that unlabeled genetic salmon and apples could seriously damage the economy by getting their exports blocked – especially from countries that require labeled GM food. It is estimated that at least 20 other states are considering labeling initiatives.

This amalgam is perhaps why there is talk of Wal-mart, PepsiCo, ConAgra and at least 20 major food companies possibly switching sides and lobbying for national labeling.

It’s probably the very least all those companies could do after spending more than $45 million to keep food unlabeled. Gary Hirshberg of Just-Label-It and chairman of Stonyfield Organic called it a poor return on their investment, referring to their actions provoking demand instead of squashing it. Too late – money talks both ways, but now they are starting to get it.

Organic Consumers Association (OCA) reported earlier that those companies, the FDA and some advocacy groups met in January behind closed doors at the Meridian Institute, a major discussion hub.

It appears that some Fortune 500 companies have now shied away from Monsanto. Consumer activism works.

Ronnie Cummins of OCA warned to keep watch:

We should be wary of any compromise deal at the federal level, one that would preempt the passage of meaningful state GMO labeling laws that have real teeth.

How many of you saw a red flag for a case of Problem-Reaction-Solution or Controlled Opposition? Are they discussing a watered-down solution – a strategic attack? At the very least, they know that they have a problem.

While so many consumers are adamantly opposed to GMOs existing anywhere close to planet Earth, some law makers like Senator Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis simply feel:

I don’t want to hinder any producer of genetically modified goods — However, I strongly feel that people have the right to know what they are putting into their bodies.

Fighting the presence of GMOs and trying to raise awareness has been an uphill and often unseen battle for over 20 years.

Not only have the FDA and USDA failed to help, but they have systematically ushered them in with no safety testing and have covered up studies proving hazards.

At least with consumer awareness reaching critical mass (we vote with our forks and dollars), big companies like Wal-Mart and food giants finally voicing labeling desires is a step in a good direction if they stop selling us out for profits.

Let’s continue giving them an uphill battle to win back our patronage – if ever. They don’t want to keep shelling out millions to further provoke us if they have to keep doing it repeatedly to their own demise. If they want people’s money, they had better listen.

The definitive movie on genetically modified foods – watch Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives for free, limited time only.

Attention shoppers: Another credit card fee is here

(NBC News) They agreed to change the rules and allow the surcharge as part of the settlement of an antitrust suit brought by retailers.

The surcharge is supposed to equal the actual cost of processing the credit card transaction, which is typically 1.5 to 3 percent. Under the agreement, the fee is capped at 4 percent. The surcharge can vary based on the type of card. For example, it could be higher for a rewards card or premier card.

Merchants still cannot add a surcharge to debit card transactions.

The big question is: Will any stores do this? Should you worry about paying a credit card surcharge?

“We have discussed the settlement with many, many merchants, and not a single merchant we have spoken to plans to surcharge,” Craig Sherman, spokesman for the National Retail Federation (NRF), said in a statement. The NRF was not involved in the class action lawsuit.

Image:NBC News contacted some of the country’s largest retailers. Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and Home Depot said they have no plans to add a credit card surcharge.

Credit card surcharges are banned by law in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Visa and MasterCard have rules that require retailers to handle credit cards the same way in all of their stores across the country. That means a chain with stores in any of the 10 states where a surcharge is banned would not be able to have a surcharge at any of its stores.

The National Retail Federation points out that under terms of the settlement, a merchant who adds a surcharge to purchases on a Visa or MasterCard would have to do the same with American Express cards. But AMEX prohibits surcharge fees. So a merchant who accepts American Express as well as Visa/MasterCard would not be able to surcharge any of those cards.

“The bottom line is that very few retailers would be able to surcharge under the settlement, and that the vast majority don’t want to surcharge even if they could,” the NRF’s Sherman said.

Ed Mierzwinski, Director of Consumer Programs at U.S. PIRG agrees.

“In the brick-and-mortar world, no one who does any sort of volume business is going to want to surcharge because it will drive their customer crazy and slow down transactions,” Mierzwinski said.

In fact, most consumer advocates believe that except for some small retailers, a credit card surcharge is a non-issue in the short-term.

But Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org, worries that over time surcharges will gain traction.

”It’s predictable what’s going to happen,” he said. “We’re at the top of the hill and we’re going to start going down that slippery slope.”

Dworsky points out that stores factor in the cost of processing credit cards when they price their merchandise. Charging for that again, he said, would be double-dipping, unless stores rolled back their prices – which no one expects them to do.

Dworsky points to Australia, where surcharging credit card use began in 2003. At first, few merchants charged the fee.  His research shows that approximately one-third of the sellers there – including some hotels, supermarkets, department stores and utilities – now charge extra to use a credit card.

What about disclosures?
The advocacy group Consumer Action has published a booklet on credit card checkout fees. It warns shoppers to be on the lookout for these fees and advises them to express their dissatisfaction.“Customers shouldn’t stand for it,” said Ruth Susswein Consumer Action’s deputy director of national priorities. “Our advice is to tell them you don’t like the fee and this makes you want to take your business elsewhere.”

The new rules from Visa and MasterCard require retailers who apply a credit card surcharge to post a notice at the store’s entrance. The exact percentage of the surcharge does not need to be disclosed until the point of sale. The customer receipt must list the amount of the surcharge.

Online stores with a surcharge will not be required to have a notice on the home page. They only need to alert shoppers about this when they reach the page where credit cards are first mentioned. In most cases, that means the final step of checkout when the purchase is being completed.

Not the end of this story
The settlement that allows merchants to impose a surcharge is only preliminary. The court has yet to issue its final ruling in this case. That’s expected later this year.

Once that happens, various retailers and business groups plan to challenge the settlement. That could drag into late 2014.

For now, the possibility that the settlement could be modified will probably keep most businesses of any size from instituting credit card fees.

“We’re not convinced this is going to be an issue,” Consumer Action’s Susswein told me. “They may never do it, but as individual consumers we need to be aware.”

Philadelphia Mayor Declares Economic Warfare on Gun Retailers

(InfoWars) Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has declared economic warfare on gun retailers, threatening to treat them like businesses who traded under Apartheid in South Africa, by withdrawing investments in companies that refuse to stop selling semi-automatic rifles and blackmailing retailers into becoming front line facilitators for gun control.

“Mayor Nutter this morning announced something he’s calling the “Sandy Hook Principles” – a list of 20 measures to curb gun violence – that companies making or selling guns and ammunition must support to avoid “economic divestment actions,” reports Philly.com.

Watch the full video of the Mayor’s speech here.

The 20 principles (PDF) include targeting businesses who sell “assault rifles” (despite this being completely legal) as well as “the distribution of of any materials/information that may be used to assist in such conversion.”

Another one of the principles would force gun retailers to promote the use of biometric locks on guns that “allows only the legitimate civilian owner to operate the firearm,” meaning those Dad and son hunting trips would be a thing of the past.

The list also includes a universal background check system, tracking ammunition to each individual owner (an RFID tag for bullets?), while it also demands gun retailers question customers about whether they have taken a gun safety course.

Under the principles, gun retailers would also be forced to host, “semi-annual gun buy-back programs to retire weapons from general public circulation.”

Nutter’s move is being aped by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the man who once called for a ‘no gun buy list’ similar to the no fly list, who on Monday announced that he would, “ask all his city’s pension funds to investigate whether they have any holdings in assault weapons makers and sellers, a step toward divesting of those companies.”

We have already seen gun retailers come under onerous economic pressure, with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer last week demanding that gun retailers like Walmart and Sports Authority, “Suspend sales of modern assault-style weapons until Congress is able to fully consider and vote on legislation to curb gun violence.”

Both Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods suspended sales of some semi-automatic rifles following the Newtown school shooting.

Last month, top online gun distributor Cheaper Than Dirt announced that it had temporarily suspended all gun sales in response to the Sandy Hook shooting, a move which drew widespread condemnation from second amendment enthusiasts.

Last week, firearms manufacturer American Spirit Arms announced that Bank of America had frozen the funds of the licensed gun dealer, with the bank telling owner Joe Sirochman he “should not be selling guns and parts on the internet.” Sirochman was informed that his funds generated from Internet sales would only be released once BoA had reviewed and cleared them.

By comparing the move to economic pressure that was placed on South African companies during Apartheid, Nutter and his ilk are not only trying to legitimize what in reality is a mafia-style extortion attempt, they are also implying that gun retailers and gun owners are violent racists who need to be regulated and bankrupted out of existence. The rhetoric is similar to that of CBS’ Bob Schieffer, who yesterday equated taking down the gun lobby to “defeating the Nazis.”

This represents open extortion and financial terrorism – the kleptocratic parasite control freak government class is publicly mobilizing to use mafia tactics to harass and bully Americans and gun stores into submitting to their thuggish tyranny.

It is important to stress that this form of blackmail is being imposed on gun retailers, one of America’s few booming industries, completely outside of the law. It is perfectly legal to sell assault rifles and yet officials in gun control (and gun crime) capitals like Philadelphia and Chicago are threatening to virtually bankrupt businesses that dare to exercise their free market right to trade in legal goods.

Gun control advocates are basically threatening economic sanctions against gun retailers unless they become the front lines of the effort to eviscerate the second amendment – again completely outside of the law.

To understand these gangsters’ mindset – everyone needs to watch the Martin Scorsese masterpiece Goodfellas (1990). The film is based on a true story and will give you a window into the minds of these mad dog control freaks.

What we’re witnessing is authoritarian rage at the fact that the second amendment has not been completely destroyed and that the founding fathers – from their graves – are still defying these parasites.