I was an amazon Affiliate until yesterday when I got the email (I will post the exact email they sent out at the bottom since I didn't see it in the thread).
We all enjoy the fact that we don't pay sales tax when we buy something over the net. Don't deny it, we all do. But the sad fact is that when the net was new this wasn't a significant cause of budgetary shortfalls to state and local governments. The more the net matures and the more business and commerce on the net matures, the more this once wonderful gimme that we ALL enjoyed becomes a problem. I don't know that Colorado's bill was a valid solution. Frankly I don't think this can be fairly handled at the State Level or you just end up with retail version of Corporate Delewares where the laws favor setting your business up. Just set up here and you only have to charge 3% tax rather than Californias or Colorado's 6%. And it would happen just like that. As we all know industries don't regulate themselves for crap. It would probably need to be like someone said a federal tax fixed at x% that is paid to the state the sale originates from or ships from or some other criteria to at least attempt to make it fair.
In anycase here is the letter the Colorado affiliates received from Amazon:
Dear Colorado-based Amazon Associate:
We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to inform you that the Colorado government recently enacted a law to impose sales tax regulations on online retailers. The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules. The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax. Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to "voluntarily" collect Colorado sales tax -- a course we won't take.
We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10-1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.
There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.
You may express your views of Colorado's new law to members of the General Assembly and to Governor Ritter , who signed the bill.
Your Associates account has been closed as of March 8, 2010, and we will no longer pay advertising fees for customers you refer to Amazon.com after that date. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to March 8, 2010, will be processed and paid in accordance with our regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of March 8, any final payments will be paid by May 31, 2010.
We have enjoyed working with you and other Colorado-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.
The Amazon Associates Team
What you don't see here are the embedded links to the General Assembly and Governor Ritter's Office so you can bitch about it.
What made it even better were the *2* how to start making money as an Amazon affiliate messages that accompanied the one above... both from Amazon.
I posted a bit of the afterthoughts about a conversation with my brother this last weekend elsewhere but there were some gems from the conversation itself that didn't fit that forum I'd thought I'd share. In forward, he's a rabid far right wing repub fundamentalist. Use your imagination, then go two steps further right.
About 2 months ago he had come down to visit my sister who lives cross the street from us. We went across the street to say hi. I had a headache that day and wasn't very social. Told him I had a headache and he (I swear) snapped his finger, pointed to the ground and said something like "god I command that headache to be healed....etc etc etc".
I suggested to him that he might be dyslexic in that snapping your fingers and pointing to the ground is how you summon a dog not how you request help from a supreme diety.
He immediately went on to the "well I'm sorry if I offended you" line of crap. I responded with I'm not offended, and if you think that's why I'm telling you this then you've entirely missed the point. If you think that you, as a human, can summon god like a common dog then you have reached the heighths of arrogance and you need to reexamine your heart.
There is so much more to the conversation ... it went on for 2 hours. Lots of it political with him hitting almost word for word right wing talking points and me countering him with facts from all of you (Thank you to all of you by the way). He couldn't come up with even one factoid or relevant piece of anything to back up any statement he made. The friend that was with him, bless her little fundy heart, turned out to be more liberal than he was by far and didn't back him up quite a few times which just left him stunned.
So hopefully he left a bit thoughtful. At least I can hope.
and his "friend" this weekend.
They are both fundamentalist as far as you can go over to that bent type of Christians and in my view frequently Christian should be quotes based on what they do.
The lunch started pleasantly enough. Idle chit chat about this or that. How the family (extended) was doing and then the conversation turned first to politics.
We had a long talk and it degraded quite quickly. I had been prepare for the conversation for some months and left him stunned and thinking this time.
I left the meeting still thinking about it all and it occurred to me finally what the true problem with his brand of fundamentalism is. I came up with a new term for it. Revivalism.
The revivalist takes no responsibilty for the community. They swoop into an area, stay a few days, save a few souls, then abandon them to the environment to fend for themselves. They move on the tne next area and repeat.
This attitude is reflected in the religious rights politics throughout society. They are pro-birth, but abandon support at the moment the baby starts to cry. They are anti anything that doesn't fit within their own little closed community.
Revivalism is the ultimate in non involvement in the real lives of folks while making yourself feel good. I mean what can possibly be of more value than to save someone elses soul. It takes an hours effort and you're home in time for the game. Revivalism is the death of the real community church that cared about it's parishioners and the birth of the megachurch that's about business, politics and facade of soul saving. With 10,000 members the pastor probably doesn't even know who you are let alone that you just lost your job, or you are having problems with your kids. Revivalism is about making yourself feel good at virtually NO cost to yourself. It takes little time to go set up religious ferver to get folks to get "saved" it takes infinitely more time to set up programs to help those same people eat.
This is the true tragedy of the modern far right Christian movements. The betrayal of true teachings for the drug of the revival. Call it what you will, that's exactly what it is. I saw it growing up. All the modern christian hate groups are based on it in one form or another.
Just one of those things watching your family for decades makes you think about.
On both sides of the political spectrum there will always be 25% or so of folks so committed for what ever reason that their point of view cannot be changed.
Everyone here is pretty much in agreement that the current republicans are representative of the 25% of the right wing base that can never be moved.
The other side of the political spectrum includes a lot of us. Staunch liberals we're in the 25% on our own side.
There are lots of crys of "we won, suck it up" going on right now. It feels great, particularly after the last eight years of hell.
What everyone needs to remember though is that 50% in the middle that swings back and forth between the two extremes. We need to keep our focus. We need to keep the grassroots and netroots campaigns going. We need to keep exposing the corruption, the incompetence, the greed, the true "I hate the main street" agenda of the republican leaders, not because WE need to hear it. WE know it. 50% of this country is just waking up. We need to make sure they don't fall back asleep lulled by Faux or CNN or any of the other sources that work against us.
It's sure feels damn good to win. Now we gotta make the win mean something and that means no complacency. It will take time for President Obama to get through all of the agenda items and it will be a frustrating time. But we need to keep exposing the right for what it is and the wrongs they do for what they are just like we did for the last 8 years and never let up.
Winning was just the first step, the journey is still ahead.
Caught in the crossroads of consciousness.
Watching DU this week has been an amazing experience. Every week there is a bit of the “OMG this person is gay!”, With the inevitable response, “that’s so insulting to me since I am gay”, or innumerable variations on a theme.
I started thinking about it a bit. Then a lot. I looked in the mirror. I’m a 45 year old straight white male and damned as much as I honestly try to be enlightened, tolerant and respectful of other lifestyles, when the gay jokes start to fly I start to give that little laugh followed by the guilty start of "OMG what am I laughing about I know better" that always follows a “good gay” joke, and I realize I am the result of both my upbringing and my desire to rise above that exact same upbringing all at the same time. I suspect a lot of folks here at DU and for that matter all over the place share a place with me at for lack of better terms this crossroads of consciousness.
I was raised in the 60s and 70s. My parents were bigoted and extremely homophobic though I certainly didn’t know it at the time. The town I grew up in was mostly white and Hispanic and had exactly *1* black family in the entire town. I distinctly remember my parents talking about interracial dating and marriage and saying “he’s a nice boy but I feel so sorry for their children!”. It didn’t matter what color the “nice boy” was so long as it was something other than white. Homosexuals, if they could have, would have been stoned to death on the steps of the church for violating the natural laws. Most of all this, thank the gods, slid off me like water off a duck and didn’t stick, but while racial tensions had started to ease in the 70s, Gays were still “fair game” for humor and off color jokes. It was something you heard every single day you went to school and you laughed. It was as always an Us vs Them thing as lots of things at school were and are, but it was prevalent when and where I grew up.
30 years later and a lot of deliberate soul searching and reasoning later, I know in my heart that GLBT folks need equal rights to marriage. They need equal protection under law to feel safe from discrimination. They need equal rights to adopt, raise their children, pay their taxes, love, live and be human in all respects. 30 years later and lot of deliberate soul searching and reasoning later I still titter at a stupid gay joke before my reasoning kicks in and I kick myself in the ass for being an insensitive jerk.
I suspect I’m pretty common. I made the reasoned choice that we’re all equal. I still carry the childhood stupid bigotries that I fight every single day of my life. I know they are wrong. They are not what I believe, but damn they are ingrained, and once in a while they sneak out before the real me, the reasoned me and grab them by their little red necks and shove em back where the sun don’t shine. They don’t just go away. I can’t just say ok… I made a choice and that’s that. It doesn’t work that way. I make that same choice every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I make that choice when someone tells a gay joke and even if it makes me chuckle and I feel really guilty about it, I make the choice to do right by never repeating that joke. I make that choice by telling the story about the gay protagonist in The Kill point instead that impressed me when I watched that show, rather than passing along the gay joke I heard earlier that day.
I guess to the many many threads that were done about hypocrisy and gay sensitivities and all the shades in between I just wanted to say lots of folks stand at the crossroads and we’re moving, albeit slowly to a new vision of equality that is incredibly different than the one we were raised in. It’s a struggle not only for you who are walking in the footsteps of discrimination, but also for us who are trying to walk beside you.
Thanks for reading the ramblings…
Not sure if I should post here or not... haven't been diagnosed yet... might not be. It's certainly been a anxiety filled 3 weeks.
I'm in a cholestorol drug study so they take blood tests on me all the time. A couple of the values came back cocked up (WBC and ummm... neutrophils) both being high I guess and 3 weeks ago the family doc called me at work out of the blue and asked me to come down and see her. She had reviewed the chart and they had been high (some of the other wbc types high as well) for months and she wanted me to go see a hematologist. Ok...no big deal... go see a specialist. I had never seen a hematologist before... might be interesting. So I walk out of her office at pretty much straight up 5PM and call to try to get an appointment... get the recorded message... thank you for calling Dr
Monday comes around and I call the Specialist and make my appointment... it's the following monday. I take a handfull of bloodtests from my records down to see her and she's telling me not to worry that looking at those she's pretty sure it's nothing too bad... and probably caused by my smoking... ok...this I can deal with (in fact I've quit since then). She's a really nice Doctor and was pretty much all smiles and made me feel comfortable. Just need to do some blood work to check a few things and come back in two weeks... should be all clear.
Two weeks roll around. She's not smiling (noticable change in demeanor... still a nice person... but no longer discounting things...) when I get to the office but wants to talk to me about the blood tests. WBC counts are still high... and one of them... ummm ... leucocytes? (sp) are misshapped and we need to do more blood work and btw... we need to do a bone marrow biopsy. We continue down the blood work and there are more abnormalities... there is a marker came back positive for auto immune something or other that could indicate lupus (I'm male so it's really unlikely) and other weirdnesses... but I feel mostly fine... just really tired. All this from a phone call out of the blue... So more tests coming... nothing is ruled out at all and the list of possibilities (virtually all of them really bad) keeps growing. Is this how the diagnostic process for this stuff works? I did the army infantry gig years ago and I'll tell you this not knowing is 10x the stress...
In any case thanks for listening...
Republican Party Announces New Green Initiatives
President Bush announced new initiatives today by the Republican Party aimed at eliminating global warming and creating energy independence for the United States by 2012.
“For the last 8 years, I have been speechifying throughout the world in such a manner as to bring about the conditions needed to change.” He went on to say, “Even now at national laboratories hidden throughout the country early leaders of our great union have been exhumed and refitted with copper wiring and placed in magnetic sarcophothingees”
“The current rate of spin caused by the last 8 years of this administration should provide clean, cheap power to the people of the united states for the foreseeable future.”
An insight into the Fundamentalist mindset.
Recently my mom passed away. It should have been a relatively peaceful event. She was 84 years old, she had lived a rich and full life and the decent into terminal health was pretty sudden and not terribly long lasting as such things go. But it wasn’t peaceful, you see my entire family are fundamentalist, charismatic Christians and the end of one persons life was simple an opportunity to some of them.
A bit over 30 years ago my family were all Lutheran’s. We went to church on Sundays, we did the holiday festivals (I still remember getting the bag filled with nuts, a couple of candies and oranges every Christmas time), vacation bible school and were remarkably uninterested in force-feeding religion of any type to anyone. Then one of the uncles got saved and my Mom went to see what kind of cult he got himself into and fell into it herself. The rest is history as they say going as far as to get thrown out of the Lutheran church for heresy I guess it was (I was a bit young at the time). The family was slowly “born again” over the period of the next 5 years or so as it spread from one family household to another till basically all of them were virtual mirrors of the others in belief.
Now my immediate family has me as the youngest with a sister and brother both many years older than I am (15 and 17 respectively). So I pretty much grew up an only and was a rebellious one at that, never one to accept the answer to any question on faith alone. This eventually led me to leaving the Christian religion and becoming very much the black sheep of the family. Now my sister and brother knew the paths I followed (mostly Wicca becoming more and more atheistic over the years) but while I would argue points with my mother about Christianity I never elaborated on me leaving the faith because I felt it would unduly disturb her and cause her pain. (And cause me pain too cause I would never hear the end of it).
Now all that history brings us once again to just before my mother’s death. She was lying in bed in hospice, on massive doses of painkillers, unable to talk (though at the time I wasn’t totally sure of that), and my sister is at her bedside. I receive a call the night before she died from my sister telling me that mom had talked to the local pastor that afternoon and expressed that she was going to hold on until I “was saved” and how I should talk to mom and that my sister would take me to church etc. etc. etc. Now of course none of it sounded reasonable to me, but on the off-chance that it would ease my Mom’s mind I said some mindless crap about seeing her in heaven and how it was ok for her to go and how she would be seeing dad soon etc… all in all making my last talk with my Mom a total lie. I had kept pretty aware of my mother’s condition throughout the end decline so I called my uncle who is the one person I have ever met myself where hypocrisy and Charismatic Christianity didn’t belong in the same sentence. He’s a Vietnam vet, he knows the value of honor and the value of his word and we talked about all of it. Seems the local pastor didn’t even know who I was and just like I suspected, mom was completely unable to speak. In short, my sister made the entire thing up of whole cloth.
I had expected the answer of course… I didn’t understand why… I couldn’t understand how someone that is that close of family who had expressed and shown her love for me for 45 years could be that cold, ruthless and manipulative. How could she lie (a sin) to force me to lie (also a sin) to save my soul? Seems like a contradiction in terms doesn’t it? It took me several days to sort it all out. The answer was actually simple. In the pursuit of their religious goals fundamentalist can perform any act that will further those goals. Lying becomes ok, if it saves a soul. Stealing becomes ok if it means that Candidate A who supports their agenda is elected. Raping the earth becomes ok if it hurries the rapture. In short the ends always justify the means. Sin is no longer sin if the goals of the religion are maintained no matter how bad they are. The incredible part is they are by and large unaware they do this. It’s just how they are… as intrinsic at this point as a cross on a priest.
The person that comes to your house to share the bible with you may genuinely care for you and truly want to see you “saved”. But the tragedy of modern America is the lengths and depths that that person will go to trick you into their viewpoint, and that one aspect transforms a religion based on love, compassion and charity to a pure cult.
Just thought I would share that moment of clarity. Obviously not every professed Fundamentalist Christian is that way, my Uncle is one exception and a truly honorable man, but out of literally thousands I have met, he’s the only one.
Posted by Wildewolfe in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Jun 28th 2007, 05:42 PM
I see a lot of posts with conjecture on whether or not Al Gore will run or not. Personally I think of all the potential candidates democratic or republican he is by far the most savvy having come up with a strategy that will work where all the others will fall by the wayside.
By waiting, everytime anyone in the current administration even touches on the subject of global warming as a now it's fact, it's an endorcement of Al Gore whether they want it to be (which I am sure they don't) or not. No other candidate will be seen as a leader on this issue compared to Gore.
By waiting, the inevitable controversies will take out some of the present candidates narrowing the field. This also reduces the total number of issues that he will have to address as each candidate tends to have their own pet issues. It's quite possible for Hillary to destroy herself on an Obama issue and then Obama blow up to a scandal (or vice versus) and in walks gore to pick up the pieces. Remember what you don't have to take a public position on can't be used against you in the court of public opinion. This makes him far less of an available target to Limbaugh, Coulter, the MSM in general and the pack of wolves running in elephant suits.
By waiting, the total cost of the campaign run is drastically decreased and he might "inherit" funds from surrendering candidates.
By waiting, the exposure of global warming to the public and his crusade against it will become more exposed with him more and more the white knight on an issue that may become critical to millions more american's before the 2008 election. Every person that becomes scared of their livlihood due to global warming is a vote in Al's pocket.
I'm not going to say for certainty that I think he's going to run, I just think he's savvy as hell and playing his cards perfectly for a well executed end game win.
Posted by Wildewolfe in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Jun 28th 2007, 03:42 PM
The belief zone
It’s interesting to watch the proceedings of the republican’s and the corporate interests they support. The concept of the Big Lie used so effectively for so long has now slowly begun to wear down the majority of the American people’s tolerance for BS and obstruction. The reality is that we American’s don’t want to believe that our leaders could lead us down the path to destruction. We don’t want to believe that our leaders don’t have our best interests nestled deep down in their hearts. We want to believe that when our leaders profess their faith in God, that they are professing peace, tolerance and charity and not Armageddon, hatred and bigotry in the guise of religion. We want to believe that we always will take the extra moral step to ensure that we are above the rest of the world and sure in our integrity and our righteous indignation over the atrocities of others.
8 years ago a not so subtle cancer entered the leadership and began the systematic destruction of the checks and balances that have kept this country going for 200+ years. They came up with or expanded concepts such as the unitary president, signing statements designed to completely circumvent the will of congress, a congress that marched not to the beat of their constituents, but to the war drums of corporate America expressed through the RNC, we transitioned from a constitutionally and slowly progressive court to what looks now to be the most repressive and constitutionally backwards court in memory. They decided that the ends justified the means so they held up the good and the bad equally as terrorists without charge and without trial. They authorized the use of torture and suspended the right of habeas corpus. They used the court system and the US Attorneys to try to cement their hold on our political system. They defy congress and the American people by scoffing at subpoenas for information or by outright destroying the information.
Here we sit in shock as a nation the dress torn off lady liberty exposed to the world, redressed in black leather and restraints. Even after all this time and all the partial revelations about this administration and how it conducts it’s business, Americans still live in the belief zone. We believe ourselves to be better than our actions to the rest of the world expose us to be. We refuse to believe that anyone can be as hateful to the American constitution as to destroy the very source of our freedom and prosperity for a few dollars more. We refuse to believe that a nominee will bald face lie to congress and then set the nations laws back 100 years.
You watch the current congress and you can still see the belief factor at work. Democratic members of the congress want to believe in the spirit of bi-partisanship. They want to believe that they will be treated by the opposition as they treated them. The shine is slowly wearing off those illusions as the evidence slowly accumulates from each investigation. It’s 100% obvious, and probably a good thing too, that the democratic party with all it’s bit’s of occasional infighting, lack of intestinal fortitude to stand it’s ground and even it’s own share of crooks, is still 1000x times better than the Greedy Ol’ Pigs of the opposition. It’s just maddening to sit here at DU knowing the depths of the corruption in our hearts but not having the legal proof and worse yet, the senate votes to ensure conviction, to throw the bums out.
In the end, it won’t be accusations of torture that brings down Darth Cheney and it won’t be the politicalization of the US Attorneys that brings down Gonzalez. It won’t even be an illegal war of aggression that brings down Bush himself. It will be perjury. They have told so many lies to so many people for so many years that the stories cannot be kept straight anymore. Which is why the claim of executive privilege today for Meirs and crew came about. They know they can’t do it, and they know that perjury is eminently more convictable than any of the rest and now they are starting to get scared.
So where does that leave us? That leaves us with the stunning revelation to some (though I think most here at DU are anything BUT stunned) that our leaders are anything but honorable. That their words are like chaff worthless and without substance. That they are without honor and incapable of being honorable in their lives and dealings. That they have literally sold their souls not to the devil but to the corporations. For 30 pieces of silver the world will melt thanks to these men and woman. The rose colored glasses need to come off, the blinders removed. The optimism that the opposition will stay true to it’s word discarded. The gloves need to come off (gee how many more of those sayings can I stick in one piece?). This is the beginning of the true end of innocence for the US and for most Americans. The key is to help them through it to see the light on the other side. The light of hope that will start with the election of a Democratic President and the reformation of the court back to an organization concerned about civil rights and the individual.
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