Sunday, December 8, 2019

Amazon Storefronts Help Small Business

Amazon Storefronts Ad
"Amazon helps small-town businesses"
Amazon is responsible for the closure of thousands of storefronts in America and now offers their platform to business owners so that Amazon can get a piece of every sale. Oh, the irony!

Amazon claims their Amazon Storefronts, "a curated destination to shop exclusively from American small and medium-sized businesses" helps small businesses. Perhaps, but it will never offset Amazon's total devastation of Main Street America and suburban shopping malls, thanks to the overwhelming power of Amazon's marketing machine and predatory business practices. Then there are the many local jobs that have been lost, or at least exchanged for many fewer jobs in regional warehouses; jobs that take such a physical and mental toll that few people can handle it for long.

According to syndicated columnist Jim Hightower:
"Bezos followed the business path mapped by Rockefeller and other 19th Century robber barons: (1) ruthlessly exploit a vast and vulnerable low-wage workforce; (2) extract billions of dollars in special government subsidies; and (3) wield every anti-competitive tool you can find or invent to get what you want from other businesses." 

Amazon's revenue has been growing at more than 20% a year, and yet Amazon paid no federal income tax for 2018. Through various tax breaks and credits, the company received a tax rebate of $129 million.

But this is not just Amazon's doing -- everyone who shops online is also at least partially responsible for the decline in brick and mortar retail. The choices we make on where to spend our money have consequences. Some of those consequences have been particularly unpleasant for Red States and Rust Belt States. 
Perhaps that explains, in part at least, how we ended up with Donald Trump in 2016. And Trump may well be re-elected in 2020, even though Trump hasn't done much for those folks who have suffered the most. Arguably, he has made it worse, but they think they have nowhere else to go.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Review: Dog and Rooster Web Design - Jack Jung

Don't play victim to a situation you created

Can you be sued over a Yelp or Google review? Yes

Most businesses cannot afford to ignore their reviews, but some are overzealous in policing them. And worse, some business owners are trying to hijack our judicial system to silence, intimidate and harass critics of theirs. 

How did we get to a situation where so many business owners believe that one bad review can ruin their business? In a word, Yelp. Many business owners believe Yelp is a protection racket masquerading as a review site. They say Yelp has full control over which reviews are counted and that Yelp manipulates the ratings based on whether or not a business buys advertising from them. They say Yelp salespeople are very aggressive and owners who pay for advertising are given some control over their reviews.

Many business owners feel like the game is rigged against them by Yelp. They can't control Yelp, so they seek to remove all the negative reviews posted on Yelp about their business, either through appeals to Yelp about "fake" reviews or through whining, cajoling, or threatening reviewers.

The subject of this blog post is currently suing someone for defamation over negative reviews. He may ultimately prevail, or not. Frankly it looks like it could go either way, but it does appear as if it all began with an attempt by a former client to post a negative review that wouldn't be quickly removed. Then it got worse.

Dog and Rooster, Inc.
dogandrooster <dot> com
5755 Oberlin Drive Suite 106, San Diego, CA 92121

TL;DR -- Summary

I'm NOT casting aspersions on Mr Jack Jung's business, any work he has done, or him personally. I am expressing an opinion -- that Mr Jung has shown bad judgment:

1. For disabling the right-click menu on his web site
2. For his aggressive moderation of review comments, which has caused some blowback and will likely continue to do so if he persists.

Dog and Rooster defamation lawsuit against a former client

Jack Jung of Dog and Rooster Web Design is currently suing one of his former clients over a bad review. Here are the business owner's own words in response to a review on Google: 

"Writing reviews of your experience with business is a constitutional right but writing fake reviews to sabotage businesses is illegal. Our legal team is communicating with Google to find the identification of this fake reviewer. It is unfortunate that we have to spend our valuable time and energy on such unethical activities."

Honest review posted by one of Dog and Rooster Web Design clients 

Jack Jung of Dog and Rooster Web Design claims he is responding to a "fake" review here, but in fact it was posted by a former client who is obviously very unhappy with the work that was done; the same client that Dog and Rooster Web Design is currently suing for defamation
(Case 37-2019-00031852-CU-DF-CTL). 

I made a promise to Mr Jung and delivered on it. 

Now that the point has been made (something about overcoming censorship), I have made substantial edits to this post.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Funny Vintage Ads (31)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot stranger than you thought.

Dinah and her jell-o dessert
"Jell-O's fine for chil'en 'at likes good things to eat."
Jello is actually a protein produced from collagen extracted from boiling animal bones.


Milk rings the bell
"To boys, milk means strong, active bodies for athletics. Girls drink milk for clear, attractive skin...bright eyes, beauty and popularity."
Harris 20th Century railroad attachment
This product is meticulously described – all the features, portability, popular with men and women, beautiful black enamel – but there are no instructions on what to do when a train comes barreling down on you.
You have a beautiful face but your nose
"Upon the impression you constantly make rests the failure or success of your life. Which is to be your ultimate destiny? My new Nose-Shaper “Trados” (Model 24) corrects now ill-shaped noses without operation, quickly, safely and permanently, Is pleasant and does not Interfere with one’s occupation, being worn at night."
Jayne's Sanative Pills for Liver Complaints

One of the earliest and most successful patent medicine makers of the 19th century was David Jayne. He was born in PA in 1798 and later spent the bulk of his career making medicines in Philadelphia. Dr. Jayne also wrote and distributed over 500 million almanacs.
Colt - Isn't it time you gave yourself a Christmas Gift
In 1836, Samuel Colt was granted a U.S. patent for the Colt revolver, which was equipped with a revolving cylinder containing five or six bullets and an innovative cocking device.
Quick Death Insecticide and Deodorant
Quick Death Insecticide and Deodorant circa 1890.
"It's a floor wax and a desert topping!"


McDonald's 12 cents French Fries
The first McDonald's opened in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois, to resounding success. Six years later Ray Kroc bought out the founding McDonald brothers for $2.7 million.
How to use "ORAL PENETRATION" to get more pay!
"Gentlemen, don't watch in despair as less talented men around you are promoted. Here is how to use Oral Penetration to get more pay!"

Geritol - Feel Stronger Fast
Geritol was introduced in 1950 as an iron and B vitamin tonic by Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Geritol was fined by the Federal Trade Commission in 1970 over their claims about treating "tired blood." In court findings, their advertising was described as "gross negligence that bordered on recklessness."

Tokio Kid Say -

This racist depiction of the Japanese, called The “Tokio Kid,” was created during World War II by artist Jack Campbell and sponsored by Douglas Aircraft Company as part of the company’'s campaign to reduce waste.

Listerine -- Go to bed, Stubborn ... He's not going to call
"He's not going to call" because your breath stinks and so does your attitude.
How You Can Avoid the Danger of Denture Breat
"Don't think that Janet doesn't love you, Mother. She does! But how can anyone love your . . . Denture Breath?"

Cooties -- also known as lice 
During World War I, the soldiers in the trenches called lice "cooties" and "arithmetic bugs" because "they added to our troubles, subtracted from our pleasures, divided our attention, and multiplied like hell."
Serpasil (Reserpine)
Serpasil (Reserpine) is a drug that is used for the treatment of high blood pressure and hypertension, but it has also been useful as a tranquilizer.
“Raise the emotional threshold against everyday stresses,” says the ad’s headline. Serpasil “acts as a gentle mood-leveling agent [and] . . . sets up a needed ‘tranquility barrier’ for the many patients who, without some help, are incapable of dealing calmly with a daily pile-up of stressful situations.”

RotorWay Aircraft
RotorWay Aircraft was founded in 1961 by B.J. Schramm in Chandler, Arizona. 
Their first model, the Scorpion, was priced at $6,300 (not including the cost of the 40 hp motorcycle engine). Current models start at $150,000.

Monster Size Monsters
Many a kid was disappointed after responding to this ad in the back of comic books in the 1960s, because all they received was a 7-foot poster, "In Authentic Colors with Glow in the Dark Eyes."

Swedish Dogskin Garments
Most Americans in the 1950s didn't want a jacket or any other garment made out of dog skin, but even today many imported "pigskin" and "lambskin" articles of clothing (gloves, handbags) are actually made from dog skin.
Hawkins Electrical Guides
The Hawkins Electrical Guides were first published in 1914 and covered all aspects of the science of electricity as well as its practical application in such things as electric cars, which were being built at the time, and possible future applications like the transmission of images.
Kellar Self Decapitation
 Called the “dean of magic” and “the most beloved magician in history,” Harry Kellar (1849-1922) was the most popular magician in America from 1896 until 1908.

The Combined Lifting & Spanking Machine
The Combined Lifting & Spanking Machine was patented in 1909 by Ulysses S De Moulin.
"Just about the time he gets well started lifting, a trigger is automatically released, which causes the spanking paddle to spring into place and strike him on the kazabo, at the same time exploding a 32-calibre blank cartridge with a loud report. (Paddle can be easily removed and used as a spanker.)"
"That is not all: there is also an electric attachment concealed under the platform of the machine that turns on a good current of electricity at the same time the paddle hits his pants."


 The 6X6 Bazooo was produced for only two years by Otaco in Ontario, Canada, beginning in 1970. This forerunner to today’s all terrain vehicles was designed to go anywhere off road on ice, snow, marsh, mud, rocks and water.
Jolt -- Join the Jolt Revolt!
Jolt Cola was created in 1985 by C. J. Rapp as a highly caffeinated beverage with the slogan "All the sugar, twice the caffeine!" The company filed for bankruptcy in 2009, but "Jolt" products are still sold though licensing agreements with other companies.

Magical Penis Wine
Does "Magical Penis Wine" make a penis magical, or is it only for magical penises?

Lifebuoy Royal Disinfectant Soap
Lever Brothers, an English soap company, introduced the first anti-bacterial soap in 1895, using carbolic acid derived from coal tar, instead of tallow (animal fat). It was the best selling medicated/health soap in North America until 1951.
Cambells -- Hunches about lunches
"Men like their food could be better than big, piping bowls full of Scotch broth?"
How about hamburgers, pizza, Carne Asada Burritos...just about anything but soup.

MIcropro Word Processor - What you see is what you get
WordStar was a word processor application that had a dominant market share during the early- to mid-1980s. It was the first microcomputer word processor to offer mail merge and WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get).    🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻

Hercules exercises -- "Get big husky muscles!"
"For Men Only" because...women don't need "Big Husky Muscles" 
The Atomic Tunnel
The Atomic Tunnel was a tourist attraction near Daytona Beach, Florida during the 1950s. It was a long, white concrete building in the shape of a meandering tube, studded with 824 "port holes" that was designed primarily as a showcase and shop for exotic orchids. It also featured tropical birds, a monkey, and "Happy, the Walking Fish," a  Southeast Asian "walking" catfish.
Hardees -- Women don't leave the Kitchen!
Women are meant to be in the kitchen, while men who are bachelors obviously cannot cook for themselves.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Funny Vintage Ads (30)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot stranger than you thought.
Fritos -- Keeds! Free Coloring Pencils
The Frito Bandito (voiced by Mel Blanc) was the cartoon mascot for Fritos corn chips beginning in 1967.  After the National Mexican-American Anti-Defamation Committee began complaining about the obnoxious stereotype, Frito-Lay tried to make the character a little less racist, but ultimately ended the ad campaign in 1971.
Frankie Doodle Dandy
 Why put your Frankie Doodle Dandy on an English muffin?
And thrifty shoppers will surely appreciate that 7 cents off coupon.


You be the Electronic Man
Yes friends, you too can be an "Electronic Man" made out of cardboard.

 Farming with Dynamite
In the early 20th century, Du Pont released a series of pamphlets touting what it claimed to be the greatest agricultural innovation since the plow: dynamite.
Knee Room Ironing Table
Imagine your wife's surprise when she finds this under the Christmas tree. She will surely appreciate your thoughtfulness; wanting her to be able to sit down while ironing your shirts.
A-1 Sauce -- Conference Fag
In this context, "fag" means "worn-out, exhausted."
The history of the "F" word has its roots in English public boarding school traditions when younger boys (fags) were forced to perform menial domestic chores for older boys. Later it became slang for a cigarette.


Asbestos use dates back to the Stone Age. It was widely used in building materials during the 20th century until the 1970s, when the death toll from asbestos-related diseases necessitated a ban. Today, most pre-1980s buildings are thought to contain at least some asbestos, and testing is required before any renovations are conducted that might disturb the material.
Weltron 2001
A portable radio with an 8-track player,
"...styled with the look of tomorrow."
The first iPod was released in October 2001 and that, along with iTunes revolutionized the music industry.

New Century Washer
“Dey am dun quick.”
Advertisements during the late Victorian era used mammy characters to promote household appliances, because no self-respecting white woman of means would ever do her own chores.

Derby Tamales...filled with fine meat
Derby Tamales are "filled with fine meat" but they don't say what kind of meat.
Post Grape Nuts keep you the same size
What is the most important lesson all mothers should teach their daughters? Always stay thin and pretty.

Turns Out You Gals are Useful After All!
 Who knew?
During World War II (1941-45) women were encouraged to enter the work force to replace men, but after the war they were told they had to give up their jobs for returning servicemen.


Spud -- Dawn-to-Dusk Smokers

Can't function without a cigarette in your mouth at all times?
With Spud Cigarettes, "Your mouth will taste clean as a whistle" while your lungs turn black.

Monster Briefs in Color!
Monster Briefs -- for those males who haven't matured past the age of 12.
Small Bust Women!
"No artificial bust buildup needed!"
Just a Special Patent Pending "bust molding feature."

Linoleum - A happy relaxation
A little too colorful!
It would be hard to relax while surrounded by those busy patterns.

United States Navy recruiting
Join the Navy and wrangle targets in your bare feet during target practice!

Jolly Green Giant Rag Doll
 "Maybe this is just the fellow you need at your house to help get the children going on their vegetables"
Yeah, she looks terrified!

 Osborne Computer
Introduced in 1981, and weighing in at nearly 25 pounds, the Osborne Computer was the first portable computer. Competitors soon flooded the market with better (and lighter) alternatives and Osborne Computer Corporation filed for bankruptcy in September 1983.

Maytag Power Washer
" is up to YOU and I, brother farmer, to get one of these power washers in our home and save the good wife the toil and trouble that she has endured for so long while you and I have had every modern convenience known to farmers for ever so long."
Daisy Vacuum Cleaner
The Daisy was a manual vacuum cleaner designed in France around 1890 and built in Britain. It required two people to operate it. The first person had to stand on the base of the bellows, moving it back and forth with the aid of a broomstick. The second person could then use the attached hose to suction up the dirt.

Learn to Train Your Wife in Five Easy Lessons
The Committee for a Better America was formed for, "the suppression of radicalism, class legislation and all else inimical to the welfare of the nation."
Wall Drug
Wall Drug, located in the town of Wall, South Dakota -- in the "middle of nowhere" -- has been attracting weary road travelers with "free ice water" since 1931.

V8 - My heart sings
Mom is wired on Benzedrine!

Ciltone - Make it gay...the color way
"Make it gay...the Color way"
Let your freak flag fly!
And "Ciltone?" Really?
Compuserve -- Welcome to Someday
Apparently in the future everything is white, except for boring computer screens.
And someday, CompuServe will die a slow, painful death.
The Scootacar was manufactured in the 1950s by Hunslet Engine Company, one of England’s oldest locomotive manufacturers. It was a three-wheeler that was advertised as a covered scooter and even had handle bars instead of a steering wheel.
Poses - 1949
 "Gay, feather light, lovely as flowers and comfortable, Poses come to America to add new glamour to your dress and figure. Perfect for sports -- you'll be pretty as a picture and free as a bird in Poses!"
And they look like stuffed ravioli.
Protecto Sanitary Bloomers
In the days before sanitary napkins, women used a variety of methods for dealing with "the curse" most of which were less than ideal. Protecto Sanitary Bloomers were made out of rubber with convenient side openings for ventilation. And only $13.50 per dozen!  Imagine going into a store and saying, "I'll take a dozen pairs of rubber bloomers please!" 

Mickey Rooney's Star-B-Q

Mickey Rooney made over $100 million during his career, but ended up with only 18,000 at his death at 93 in 2014. As his career began to falter in the early 1980s, Mickey invested and lost most of his money in crazy restaurants like Mickey Rooney's Star-B-Q and Mickey Rooney's Weenie World.