November 23, 2015

"Narcissism disguised as strategy" in the advertising industry and at Apple

Demographic Cleansing Of Ad Industry  A milestone in marketing stupidity has been reached.

According to a September report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, a majority of consumer spending (51%) is now done by people over 50. These people are the target for 10% of marketing activity.

On the other hand, marketers spend five times as much money marketing to millennials, the moronic obsession of every marketer on the planet, than any other group.......
There is almost no one over 50 left in the advertising business. They have been the target of demographic cleansing -- and eliminated from agencies.

The result is a generation of advertising people with enormous self-regard and no hint as to the true nature of "the consumer" they are all so sure they know everything about.
It is marketing by selfie-stick - narcissism disguised as strategy.

Another example of narcissism disguised as strategy is Apple.  For more than 3 months, I've been transferring data from an old iMac (OS 10.7.5) to a newer one with the El Capitan (OS 10.11.1).  In almost every case, the older design was far more useful, more legible and easier to use.  So now, I'll keep both.  The new one mainly for storage and surfing and the old one for doing everyday tasks and serious work.

I've been using Apple products since 1986.  I will no longer recommend Apple even though I'm now stuck with it.  Does Apple have any idea of how many customers it's alienating?

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name.  No more user-centered design principles.

Once upon a time, Apple was known for designing easy-to-use, easy-to-understand products. It was a champion of the graphical user interface......

No more. Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.
What kind of design philosophy requires millions of its users to have to pretend they are disabled in order to be able to use the product?
The new generation of software has made gigantic leaps forward in attractiveness and computational power while simultaneously getting harder for people to use.  The problem is not restricted to Apple. Google maps become more attractive and more confusing with each iteration.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:09 PM | Permalink

November 10, 2015

Idiocies on campus

Quote of the Day from The Tyranny of Social Justice Warriors

The next Robespierre is currently 17 years old and trying to decide between Harvard and Yale.

Social Justice Warriors are the product of a culture that trains its young to think that their every desire is self-justifying. If they feel it, it must be true.

Life is hard, and it’s harder if you’re stupid.

Hysterical Yalies protest a free-speech panel

The Yale kids did their screaming best to prevent us from having a conversation about free speech — the Yale kids are utterly immune to irony — but the event went much as planned. Coming and going, we were chanted at by idiot children screaming, “Genocide is not a joke!” Of course it isn’t. Yale kids, on the other hand . . .

Yale’s Idiot Children

I understand why the idiot children at Yale are so sensitive. Really, I do. I sometimes list in my mind all of the poor, suffering people who get a raw deal in this life, and Yale students are always right at the top, with the Bangladeshi orphans and women traded by sex traffickers in Vietnam. Yale isn’t a safe space, Congo isn’t a safe space — it all makes sense, as long as you don’t expect it to make sense.

The Mizzou Meltdown

Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri system, is out in one of the most parodic PC meltdowns on a college campus to date. The Missouri episode shows how the political climate on campus falls somewhere between a Tom Wolfe novel, a Monty Python skit, and the French Terror. A reasonable person will find it difficult to identify what Tim Wolfe stood accused of. The fact of the matter is that Missouri’s social-justice warriors forced him out simply because they could.
Wolfe is lucky he got away with merely quitting, without having to agree to go through an arduous program of re-education. After decades of mockery, political correctness is stronger than ever on campus and has to strike fear into the hearts of every professor and administrator, who are potential victims no matter how much they kowtow to the children. It is an ongoing cultural revolution, and common sense and rationality are its natural enemies.

Missouri’s Lesson: the Campus Wars Are about Power, Not Justice

Earlier this morning, Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri system, abruptly resigned. Why? The popular narrative is that his “inadequate” response to a series of racist incidents on campus triggered a massive student backlash, including an unprecedented “strike” by the university’s football team, and he finally caved to the pressure.
The Left has the will to power. University leaders have no will at all. They have earned nothing but contempt.

 Twitter Burgee College

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:54 PM | Permalink

August 1, 2013

Oprah says millions of people were lynched

In an interview in Parade magazine, Oprah Winfrey decries Americans' Ignorance on civil rights and laments the 'millions' of blacks lynched.   

How embarrassing for her that

Historians at the Tuskegee Institute estimate that approximately 3,446 African-Americans were lynched from 1882-1968.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:56 AM | Permalink

July 4, 2013

Disaster plans for bunnies: UPDATED

Another government idiocy

Two years ago,  the USDA insisted that Marty Hahne,  a magician based in Ozark, MO, needed a license from the USDA to have a rabbit in his act.  The so-called 'Rabbit Police' from the USDA insist that a hand-washing station be installed  within sight from where the rabbit is displayed,  and that the magician and any audience member must wash their hands  before petting the rabbit.  'Rabbit police' from the USDA Stalk Magicians


USDA Tells Magician to Write Disaster Plan for His Rabbit.

An Ozark, Mo.-based magician whose story about being harassed by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service agents (a.k.a., “Rabbit Police”) was one of three stories highlighted in an article two years ago, Marty Hahne contacted me today with an update.

“You won’t believe what the USDA has come up with now,” Hahne wrote in an email message late Friday afternoon.  “If this wasn’t so stupid, it would be funny!”

He went on to share details about his continued harassment by the USDA — all for using a three-pound rabbit in his magic act:

My USDA rabbit license requirement has taken another ridiculous twist. I just received an 8 page letter from the USDA, telling me that by July 29 I need to have in place a written disaster plan, detailing all the steps I would take to help get my rabbit through a disaster, such as a tornado, fire, flood, etc. They not only want to know how I will protect my rabbit during a disaster, but also what I will do after the disaster, to make sure my rabbit gets cared for properly.  I am not kidding–before the end of July I need to have this written rabbit disaster plan in place, or I am breaking the law.

In his email message, Hahne also explained the timeline via which he must comply: 1) the new regulation became effective Jan. 30, 2012; 2) the written plan must be completed by July 29, 2013; 3) Hahne and his wife, Brenda, must be trained to implement the plan as written; and 4) the written plan must be available for review by USDA inspectors by Sept. 28, 2013.

UPDATED:  What the disaster plan must include:    With the July 29 compliance deadline looming, the USDA recently sent Marty the Magician (aka Marty Hahne of Springfield, Missouri) an eight-page communiqué detailing requirements for the plan, which must:

  • Identify common emergencies most likely to occur,
  • Outline specific tasks required to be carried out in response to each of the identified emergencies,
  • Identify a chain of command and who (by name or by position title) will be responsible for fulfilling these tasks, and
  • Address how response and recovery will be handled in terms of materials, resources, and training needs.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:36 PM | Permalink

April 8, 2013

U.S. Army labels Catholics, Orthodox Jews and Evangelicals as Religious Extremists

You've probably seen this, but it's so idiotic, I had to make note of it.

 Army-Religious Extremism

US Army Labeled Evangelicals, Catholics as Examples of Religious Extremism,"

The U.S. Army listed Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with Al Qaeda and Hamas during a briefing with an Army Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania, Fox News has learned.

The incident occurred during an Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on extremism. Topping the list is Evangelical Christianity. Other organizations listed included Catholicism, Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Ku Klux Klan, Sunni Muslims, and Nation of Islam.

The military also listed “Islamophobia” as a form of religious extremism.

Mark Steyn points out in Don’t Fire Until You See The Whites of Their Cassocks

Think of the number of people involved in the creation, printing and distribution of this graphic — and along the way not one of them stopped to say, “Hey, this is totally dumb.”
When Major Hasan got a case of Pre-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and opened fire at Fort Hood standing on a table yelling “Allahu Akbar!”, it was just the luck of the draw: He could have been shouting the Angelus. Best to prepare for all eventualities.

The Daily Mail reports Army Reserve training material lists Catholics, evangelical Christians and some Jews in 'religious extremism' category along with the KKK, Hamas and Al Qaeda

The presentation also warned that members of the military are prohibited from taking leadership roles in any organization the Pentagon considers 'extremist,' and from distributing the organization's literature, whether on or off a military installation.
Citing a Southern Poverty Law Center report as evidence that extremism is on the rise, the Army Reserve presentation blames 'the superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories,the changing racial make-up of America and the prospect of 4 more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.'

Good grief.  It is very scary that the Pentagon is basing these scurrilous charges on 'information' provided by Maurice Dees.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and its President Maurice Dees are notoriously anti-Christian  hate-mongerers,  challenged by  the left and the right,  as Charlotte Allen points out this week in "The King of Fearmongers."  (via Ed Driscoll)    Fearmongering has proved to be extremely lucrative for Dees and the SPLC.

Thanks to the generosity of four decades’ worth of donors, many of whom—as SPLC president Richard Cohen himself noted in a telephone interview with me—are aging Northern-state “1960s liberals” who continue to associate “Southern” and “poverty” with lynchings, white-hooded Klansmen, and sitting at the back of the bus, and thanks also to what can only be described as the sheer genius at direct-mail marketing of Dees, the SPLC’s 76-year-old lawyer-founder, who was already a multimillionaire by the late 1960s from the direct-mail sales of everything from doormats to cookbooks, the SPLC is probably the richest poverty organization in the history of the world. From its very beginning the SPLC, thanks to Dees’s talent for crafting multi-page alarmist fundraising letters, has not only continuously operated in the black, but has steadily accumulated a mountain of surpluses augmented by a shrewdly managed investment portfolio. Today the SPLC’s net assets total more than $256 million (that figure appears on the SPLC’s 2011 tax return, the latest posted on the organization’s website)
Its severest critics aren’t on the conservative right … but on the progressive left. … . that one of the most vituperative of all the critics was the recently deceased Alexander Cockburn, columnist for the Nation and the leftist webzine CounterPunch. In a 2009 article for CounterPunch titled “King of the Hate Business,” Cockburn castigated Dees and the SPLC for using the 2008 election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president as yet another wringer for squeezing out direct-mail donations from “trembling liberals” by painting an apocalyptic picture of “millions of [anti-Obama] extremists primed to march down Main Street draped in Klan robes, a copy of Mein Kampf tucked under one arm and a Bible under the other.” Cockburn continued: “Ever since 1971 U.S. Postal Service mailbags have bulged with Dees’ fundraising letters, scaring dollars out of the pockets of trembling liberals aghast at his lurid depictions of hate-sodden America, in dire need of legal confrontation by the SPLC.”
What has infuriated the SPLC’s liberal critics is their suspicion that Morris Dees has used the SPLC primarily as a fundraising machine fueled by his direct-mail talents that generates a nice living for himself (the SPLC’s 2010 tax filing lists a compensation package of $345,000 for him as the organization’s chief trial counsel and highest-paid employee) and a handful of other high ranking SPLC officials plus luxurious offices and perks, but that does relatively little in the way of providing the legal services to poor people that its name implies.
One of the SPLC’s leitmotifs is that there is an ever-spiraling amount of hate in America.
there may soon come a day when the SPLC’s donation-generating machine, powered by Dees’s mastery of the use of “hate” to coax dollars from the highly educated and the highly gullible, finally breaks down. That is why, according to Cohen, the SPLC has no intention of soon spending down much of that $256 million in stockpiled assets that has earned the center an “F” rating from CharityWatch. “We’ve tried to raise a substantial endowment, because our fundraising is on a downward trend,” Cohen told me. “Those 1960s liberals—they’re getting older, and the post office is dying. We’re likely to be out of the fundraising business within 10 years.” What the SPLC wants to do is to ensure that “hate” is forever.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:42 PM | Permalink

January 30, 2013

Ethanol and other examples of government waste

Zero Dark Ethanol

The cellulosic ethanol industry produced zero gallons in 2011 and zero in 2012. But the EPA still required oil companies and refiners to buy 6.6 million gallons in 2011 and 8.7 million in 2012—and then to purchase millions of dollars of "waiver credits" for failing to comply with a mandate to buy a product that did not exist. This is the sort of thing that led to the Protestant Reformation.

Study: New E15 gas can ruin auto engines

The fuel industry's American Petroleum Institute tested the 15 percent ethanol gas approved in 2010 and found it gums up fuel systems, prompts "check engine" lights to come on, and messes with fuel gauge readings.

"Failure of these components could result in breakdowns that leave consumers stranded on busy roads and highways," said the industry report. Worse: API said the fuel problems--not found in E5 or E10 blends--aren't always covered by auto warranties.

As Walter Russell Mead points out in World's Largest Lobbies in Ethanol Deathmatch

Studies have shown that using corn for fuel is neither green nor cost-effective. Worse, it drives up global prices for corn, starving the world’s poor.
In 2012, 40 percent of U.S. corn went towards producing biofuels. Compare that to 2006, when just 19 percent of corn was used for fuel. Keep in mind that we’re actually producing fewer bushels of corn now than we were back in 2006.

The auto industry is thriving, except for subsidized alternative fuel vehicles.

From sport utes to sports cars to soccer-mom vans, every industry segment is thriving—with the notable exception of the alternative-fuel vehicles into which Washington has sunk billions of taxpayer dollars.

The buck stops at the desk of EPA's Lisa Jackson, The Worst Head of the Worst Regulatory Agency Ever

'Incalculable waste' in U.S.-paid $100 billion Afghan fund

The unprecedented $100 billion program slated to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan has been ravaged by theft, cost overruns, bribes, unused facilities and "incalculable waste,"

Going for Broke

According to Hillary Clinton’s long-delayed Benghazigate testimony, the State Department just did not have enough money to provide security for a mission in one of the most dangerous places in the world.

It did however have 16 million dollars to spend on 2,500 kindle book readers at the drastically inflated price of $6,600 per device.

It had $79,000 to spend on Obama’s books and $20,000 on a portrait of Obama. The US Embassy had $150,000 to spend on a book about the ambassador’s residence.  There was $4.5 for art in embassies, but no money for Benghazi security.

But then, "What difference does it make?"

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:10 PM | Permalink

August 7, 2012

Making the same mistake over and over

And You Thought the Housing Crisis Was Over!  The Community Reinvestment Act is back, as if 2008 never happened.    This time by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the brain child of Elizabeth Warren.

Yes, believe it or not, the federal government is now starting another initiative to force banks to lend to low-credit-rated blacks and Hispanics -- not just anybody but specifically blacks and Hispanics -- and is threatening -- and already imposing -- huge punitive fines if they don't. Moreover, this time they're going even further. They're going to take over the credit rating agencies and force them to change their standards to accommodate blacks and Hispanics so that nobody will have any idea who is a bad credit risk and who is not.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:34 AM | Permalink

April 11, 2012

Recent Idiocies

In a vain attempt to capture some of the idiocies I come upon while surfing the web, I've decided to make them a category.

He can't imagine life without an unemployment check. In Austria, an unemployed Man Saws Off His Own Foot To Avoid Work.

Just leave her on the floor  School bans 5-year-old cerebral palsy girl from using walker...because it's 'unsafe' for other children.

Banning words.  In New York City, educators have banned certain references on city-issued tests. 50 words in all are banned, among them:

dinosaurs - because it might upset fundamentalists
birthdays - because it might offend Jehovah's Witnesses
Halloween - because it suggests paganism
poverty - because it might offend someone who is poor
wealth - because it might make some people jealous
disease -because it might offend someone who is ill
divorce  - because it might offend children of
homes with swimming pools - because it might upset those without one
terrorism - because it's too scary

Re-engineering humans.  Geo-engineering is too hard and too risky, so these  bioethicists propose altering the human species to combat global climate change!      Professor  S. Matthew Liao  of the Center for Bioethics at NYU suggests we use preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select embryos that are smaller so they will use fewer resources.  Other nifty ideas include inducing intolerance to red meat,  "pharmacological enhancements" to promote altruism and empathy and making human eyes more catlike, through genetic manipulation,  so we need less light.  Tiny, happy people, indeed.

In Warwick, R.I., school officials deemed a student mural inappropriate and painted over a scene of a married man and wife and young boy  because it "may not represent the life experiences of many of the students" and may be offensive to students who do not come from traditional families.  Of course, such idiocy got on the local radio and the school superintendent said, let the young girl finish the mural the way she envisioned it.    Below is the offensive art that was painted over.

 The Offensive Painting Ri

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:10 PM | Permalink