Tag Archives: eBay

Companies Ban Confederate Flag Sales, But Keep Nazi And Che Guevara Merchandise

Several major retailers have banned sales of the Confederate flag, after it was seen in photos being held by Dylann Roof, the suspect in the shooting that left nine people dead at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.

The major companies, which include Walmart, Amazon, eBay, Sears, Target and Etsy have cited similar reasons for the removal of Confederate flag merchandise, along the lines that it is “offensive” and is a “symbol of racism and slavery.”

While Walmart carried products that included the Confederate flag’s design up until Monday, it discontinued that merchandise after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the flag from the state capitol grounds.

Haley said that although many people in the state view the flag as a “symbol of respect, integrity and duty,” and a way “to honor the ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict,” others see it as a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”

Brian Nick, a spokesperson for Walmart, released a statement saying that the retailer intends to avoid carrying items that are offensive.

“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site,” Nick said. “We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances.”

The Gateway Pundit noted that while Walmart has committed to halting the sales of Confederate flags, it still sells posters glorifying Che Guevara, the “notorious anti-Black racist from Argentina who murdered hungry children and became an icon for leftists around the world for his role in the 1959 communist takeover of Cuba.”


In all, Walmart.com carries seventeen different posters and prints commemorating Guevara, ranging from $12.50 for a 24 x 36 Guevara print to $339.99 for a Guevara canvas.

The Blaze noted that Guevara “murdered Cubans because of their supposed affiliation with the U.S.” and said things such as “the Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and drink,” “the Negro has maintained his racial purity by his well known habit of avoiding baths,” and “The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!”

Johnna Hoff, a spokesperson for eBay, released a statement saying that the online retailer is banning merchandise containing the Confederate flag because it has “become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism.”

However, eBay also allows sales of merchandise commemorating Che Guevara, from T-Shirts to posters.


CNN reported that on Amazon, sales of three versions of the Confederate flag were “up 1,670% to 2,305% over a period of 24 hours,” and that one of the flags, which was priced at $1.80 plus shipping, is both “the ninth best-selling item in the Patio, Lawn & Garden department,” and “the top-selling item among all outdoor flags and banners sold on Amazon.”

Despite the sudden rise in sales, Amazon joined the group of retailers banning Confederate flag merchandise on Tuesday.

However, while it banned the material for being “offensive,” it still carries several products commemorating Nazi Germany, including a Swatika-themed iPhone 5 case for $5.99, a “#hitler” mug for $20.99, Playstation 4 Swastika-themed Console and Remote Controller skins for $21.99 and Hitler’s Nazi SS Flag for $7.35.


Military Equipment, Lost by Pentagon, Turns up for Sale on Craigslist

According to a March 12 US Naval Criminal Investigative Service report published by The Intercept, Department of Defense officials misplaced equipment from a $750 million shipment of tools aimed at helping US soldiers track and disable improvised explosive devices. Some of the 32,000 sensitive, restricted pieces of equipment distributed through the program were only found after they were posted for sale on websites like eBay and Craigslist.

“Since 2009, some of this advanced hardware has been reported as missing and is actively being sold or discussed on the global market on a variety of websites,” said the report. The items, which include capabilities like night vision and thermal optic imaging, appeared for sale on 13 websites, including texasguntalk.com and sportfishermen.com, listed as equipment for outdoor activities like hunting and camping.

Jana Winter and Sharon Weinberger at The Intercept wrote that they “found an eBay listing from Dec. 2014 for one of the pieces of equipment listed in the the NCIS document — the OASYS-BAE Systems Universal Thermal Monocular; it was listed for sale in Dec. 2014 for $6,000, with free standard shipping. Another item, currently listed for sale, is a CNVD-T Clip-On Night Vision Device Thermal System; it is advertised for $16,599.00 in ‘new condition!'”

The NCIS report concluded, “NCIS asks for your help in identifying and recovering these items to keep foreign entities from exploiting the technologies in these devices and using them against the U.S. military, NATO allies, or civilian law enforcement personnel during the course of their duties.”

The US Navy’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which acquires and issues the equipment, has been criticized in a 2012 Government Accountability Office report for its failure to oversee $18 billion in expenses. Military.com is reporting that the DOD is working on a downsizing plan for JIEDDO, complete with budget and personnel cuts, a claim which JIEDDO spokesperson David Small denied in comments to The Intercept.

eBay blasts underhanded government attempts on internet sales tax in email to millions

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 23, 2014 – On Thursday evening eBay, the multinational e-commerce mega company, sent out an email to  millions of its American clients blasting the U.S. Congress for attempting to implement an internet sales tax.

The email stated, “Over 18 months ago the U.S. Senate voted on a deeply unpopular Internet sales tax bill. Unfortunately, rather than find consensus, there are now plans to bypass the normal legislative process and attach the Internet sales tax bill to whatever legislative vehicle is most likely to pass in the short, post-election, ‘lame-duck’ session of Congress.”

eBay’s Vice President & Deputy General Counsel of Government Relations Tod Cohen sent the email and in it urged citizens to take action to prevent Congress from passing a bill that would introduce an internet sales tax.

Cohen stated, “Now is the time to let your senators know if you oppose an Internet sales tax bill that will harm online small businesses.”

You can read the full email here.


Dear Michael:

Over 18 months ago the U.S. Senate voted on a deeply unpopular Internet sales tax bill. Unfortunately, rather than find consensus, there are now plans to bypass the normal legislative process and attach the Internet sales tax bill to whatever legislative vehicle is most likely to pass in the short, post-election, “lame-duck” session of Congress.

Now is the time to let your senators know if you oppose an Internet sales tax bill that will harm online small businesses. Click here to ask your senators to keep Internet sales taxes out of the post-election “lame-duck” session of Congress.

Together, we can make a difference!


Tod Cohen
Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Government Relations
eBay Inc.


Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook & Twitter.

PayPal’s Braintree to Begin Accepting Bitcoin

The above-embedded video features a cryptic new advertisement by PayPal, which hints at the company’s intention to begin embracing bitcoin, a popular digital cryptocurrency which many consumers and businesses prefer over government-backed paper currencies. The commercial promotes PayPal’s vision for a new “people economy,” saying, “We are the people who have built a whole new place to live, dream and be. We employ ourselves and vote with our money. Our phone is our wallet. We can spend bitcoin with a tap, without a pocket. We can buy and sell and rent and send and lend a twenty to a friend. From the coffee bar and share-car, we are unstoppable with our thumbs… No need to send any details or data, not even when we pay each other. We have magical money, not bound by bank or bill. It’s instant, simple, and secure enough to get out of the way.”

According to Bloomberg, Braintree, a mobile payment system that was acquired by PayPal’s parent company eBay, is set to begin accepting bitcoin in the near future, which represents PayPal’s first step towards bitcoin integration. Said Braintree CEO Bill Ready at this week’s Disrupt SF tech conference, “We’re announcing PayPal’s first foray into bitcoin. Over the coming months we’ll allow our merchants to accept bitcoin. On the consumer side it will be a sleek experience.” The announcement came on the heels of the launch of Braintree’s One Touch payment system, which will allow consumers to purchase products from merchants with a single touch, without keying in credentials each time.

Though most PayPal and eBay merchants will likely begin accepting bitcoin in time if the integration with Braintree goes well, bitcoin users will have to wait a while before the entire eBay marketplace opens up to the digital cryptocurrency. To start off, Braintree merchants will choose whether or not they want to accept bitcoin. Said Bill Ready in a statement on Braintree’s website, “While we’re focused on giving people more seamless buying experiences, we’re also fierce advocates of giving merchants — and in turn their customers — flexibility and the freedom of choice. That’s why today, we also announced that we’ll enable our customers to easily accept bitcoin in the coming months via a partnership with Coinbase — a trusted, high quality bitcoin payment processor with 1.6M consumer wallets and 36,000 merchants globally. As we make bitcoin available, our v.zero SDK will make it seamless for developers and merchants to add bitcoin to their existing payment methods and provide an elegant, adaptive user interface for consumers to pay in bitcoin with their Coinbase wallet.” Since Braintree provides mobile payment support for brands like Uber, Dropbox, and Airbnb, its bitcoin integration will dramatically expand available options for users of the digital cryptocurrency.

Techcrunch quoted Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong as saying, “We had a lot of developers tell us they’d love to add bitcoin, but Braintree would handle all of their payments and they didn’t want to add another SDK. They would say that if Braintree added it, they would add it.” Braintree merchants who choose to accept bitcoin will be able to have it instantly transferred into a chosen fiat currency.

In other bitcoin-related news, a hacker claims to have hacked into the email address of bitcoin’s mysterious founder and is offering to reveal his identity in exchange for 25 bitcoins, valued at around $11,000.