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Hot Dog Vender:Got no opinions Sir, they’re bad for business

Inherit the Wind 1960

One of the values of a being either company operating in a niche market, or serving primarily a niche market is that if you have strong political opinions consistent with said niche market you can release them in public secure in the knowledge that such a move will not hurt the bottom line.

Another type of company with this advantage is one that sells a unique product that can not be easily obtained elsewhere.  When that is the case the customer base, no matter how offended by a particular public opinion, particularly a business, will have no choice but to swallow it’s pride and continue to use said company.

Neither of these would be considered accurate description of the Kellogg’s’ corporation.

Kellogg, citing ‘values,’ joins growing list of companies that pledged to stop advertising in Breitbart News

From the story

The company cited concerns that Breitbart News, which has been described by many as portraying alt-right ideals, does not align with its values.Kellogg’s has announced that it will pull all advertising from the site. The company cited concerns that Breitbart News, which has been described by many as portraying alt-right ideals, does not align with its values.

Breitbart is not amused

Kellogg’s offered no examples of how Breitbart’s 45 million monthly readers fail to align with the breakfast maker’s values. Indeed, the move appears to be one more example of an out-of-touch corporation embracing false left-wing narratives used to cynically smear the hard working Americans that populate this nation’s heartland.

Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow encouraged the boycott of Kellogg’s products, describing their war against Breitbart News as bigoted and anti-American: “Breitbart News is the largest platform for pro-family content anywhere on the Internet. We are fearless advocates for traditional American values, perhaps most important among them is freedom of speech, or our motto ‘more voices, not less.’ For Kellogg’s, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice. They insult our incredibly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45,000,000 highly engaged, highly perceptive, highly loyal readers, many of whom are Kellogg’s customers. Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice. If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.”

In response, Breitbart launched its #DumpKelloggs petition to encourage its vast readership and the followers of its #1 in the world political Facebook and Twitter pages to ban bigotry from the breakfast table by boycotting Kellogg’s products. 

Given the results of the election, the fact that the former Chair of Breitbart is now the strategic advisor for the Trump administration and that alternatives to the products offered by Kellogg’s made by other companies abound, this public statement, as opposed to something more generic like claiming they are simply decreasing advertising on political news sites post election, would seem to have been an ill advised PR move.   The trending #dumpkelloggs hashtag on twitter, the eruptions on facebook with the loss of 2% of the stock’s value would suggest this,  so I decided to try & find out what Kellogg’s had to say about it directly.

I called Kellogg’s Consumer affairs line at 1-800-962-1413. I had a very long wait before I spoke to a very busy young lady who informed me that the line was for product related inquiries and that she didn’t have a media contact number but she did have both a number for corporate 269-961-2000 and HR 1-877-694-7554 that she was kind enough to give me.

From there I called the Corporate number. The switchboard operator transferred me to the media relations department but before she did commented that while she had only fielded 2 calls on the subject her co-worker next to here was inundated with them with all but one call objecting to the move.

I reached the voice mail of the media contact leaving a message with both my phone number and email address seeking comment before this piece went live. As of this writing I have not been contacted by either method which means I didn’t get a chance to ask any questions concerning Kellogg’s statement on values. Here are some obvious ones they raise first about how the decision came to be:

Given that this was a very public move by a major corporation whose product is sold in practically every single town in every single state blue and red, what was the procedure that led to this decision?

Who made the initial suggestion for this move?

Was the company approached by an outside entity concerning Breitbart or was this raised internally?

How Much discussion went into making this decision?

How many people were involved in making this decision and when the decision was made was it reached unanimously?

Who drafted the initial statement and at how many levels was said statement approved before it was released to the media?

Those are all statements concerning “cause”, I also have a few on “effect”

as Kellogg’s considers the breitbart sites to be inconsistent with their values, or as Hillary Clinton would say “Deplorable”, do they consider the 46 million readers of Breitbart site equally “deplorable” or inconsistent with the values of Kellogg’s?

Given that the former CEO of Breitbart now has a high position, some would say the most trusted position in the incoming Trump administration does their statement also mean that Kellogg’s considers the values of the incoming Trump administration and the voters who elected them, including in the state of Michigan inconsistent with the values espoused by Kelloggs?

Given that Breitbart.com is inconsistent with the values of Kelloggs will Kelloggs decide that readers and supporters of the Breitbart site need not apply for the positions offered at the site & promoted on Twitter under the Kellogg’s jobs site and that current readers of the Breitbart site employed by Kelloggs should consider finding other work?

And finally one on the aftermath of all of this

Given the rise of the #dumpkelloggs hashtag, the apparent large volume of calls complain and the apparent conclusion by conservatives on social media that their business is no longer desired by Kellogg’s and the implications that has for both the stock price and the bottom line for the company, what affirmative steps, if any, is the company planning to assure these very upset customers that they are valued members of the Kellogg’s customer community or do they plan to wait it out?

If I get a response before I leave for my overnight job I’ll include it here or in an update if any shows up after the post goes up.

Exit Question:  Isn’t this either a class action or a “hostile work environment” case just waiting to erupt on Kellogg’s?

Update:  edited initial paragraph for clarity


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Grixdale
Grixdale

By John Ruberry

Type “Detroit revival” or “Detroit comeback” into your Google search box and you’ll collect a lot of hits and discover glowing yarns about the turnaround of what was once one of America’s greatest cities. Here’s one from Forbes just last week. There is even a Pure Michigan TV commercial about Detroit.

But as John Adams once famously wrote, “Facts are stubborn things.”

Yes, there is a Detroit bounceback underway but it is centered in downtown and the neighborhoods that border it. That’s it.

Then there are the facts.

The fiscal year for Detroit Public Schools ends on June 30. On July 1 there is no money for summer school or physical upkeep, unless the state rushes in for a rescue. Such a rescue should not be confused with a proposed $720 million one that will deal with DPS’ long-term debt.

Adding an exclamation point to the problems of DPS last week was a former school principal who pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks from an allegedly crooked supplier. A dozen other DPS officials, most of them former principals, have also been charged with collecting kickbacks.

Abandoned Detroit school
Abandoned Detroit school

When I visited Detroit last summer I ventured into the neighborhoods outside of its downtown ring. Places like Grixdale. This is a typical 21st century Grixdale block that in 1950 that had twenty homes each with wage earners with fat wallets: Two occupied homes, two abandoned homes, the rest are rubbished filled vacant lots with coarse weeds.

Detroit has some millstones that will impede its recovery. Its commercial property tax rates are the highest in the nation and city services are substandard. Detroiters are burdened with a municipal income tax and possible future Detroit residents who want to dip their toe in the Motor City water by taking a job in the city are subject to a commuter tax. And Detroit is still a very violent city.

Just last week a study was released that discovered that Detroit has the least storefront concentration of any big city.

Look for the Detroit comeback, such as it is, to proceed very slowly.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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We interrupt our coverage of the evil and stupidity of Europe concerning Islam to cover the evil and stupidity Jack Dorsey concerning Twitter.

Of the evil, basically targeting conservatives, banning people like Robert Stacy McCain and lying about it we’ve written about over and over.

Alas the evil has not persuaded the shareholder to revolt to change it.

But now there is the stupid:

TWITTER IS SHUTTING DOWN TWEETDECK FOR WINDOWS: Funny, when I joined Twitter in December of 2008, Tweetdeckwas Twitter for me. Built around multiple columns, with one for people in my Twitter Stream, another people responding to me, and another direct messages, Tweetdeck allowed me to have real time conversations, instead of trying to decipher the firehose of content coming out of my Twitter homepage. (That was back when I wanted to be interactive. After watching endless Twitter flamewars, I’m much happier to simply retweet interesting news and comments, and save my content creation for here and the main PJM site.)

“Twitter’s plan is to push all users to Twitter.com for their advertisement revenue,” as their stock price has cratered in recent months.  That that tends to happen when companies exit their original function to go full-on SJW instead. This despite the fact that “Tweetdeck is insanely popular among Twitter desktop users. They had previously bought the client.”

But this isn’t the first time that a Sillicon Valley corporation flush with cash has bought a product in order to eventually kill it.

And twitter is being kind enough to make sure every Tweetdeck users knows it when they open the app.

stupid twitter

 

 

Before I discovered tweetdeck twitter was of no interest to me, one had to have multiple windows open or constantly be checking items to see what people were saying.  It just wasn’t worth the effort.  With Tweetdeck twitter suddenly became user friendly and starting Tweetdeck became a regular part of my startup sequence for my computer and the ability to see Direct messages at the same time as tweets was VERY useful (although Anthony Weiner might disagree).

The impending end of Tweetdeck means I would need to have a browser dedicated to twitter that I would have to constantly refresh to see what is being tweeted.

Frankly it’s just not worth it and if it’s not worth it to me how much less worth it would it be to people who use multiple social media platforms.

Twitter is hemorrhaging users, so how does twitter react?  Make it harder for users to use twitter.

That’s going to increase the customer base isn’t it?

The shareholders at Twitter might be willing to forgive Jack for being evil, perhaps some of the bigger ones are ultra liberals who want to silence conservatives so they’re onboard with it.

But will they forgive stupid that costs them users across the political spectrum?

We’ll see.

Closing FYI:  After April 15th I won’t be tweeting regularly, If I see an embedded tweet on a site I might retweet it or comment on it via the site it is embedded on.  If you would usually DM me on twitter I suggest emailing me instead at DaTechguy AT Datechguyblog.com because I’m less likely to see it, or call me (not on my cell but on my home number, I rarely carry my cell unless I’m traveling).

Closing thought: Given Trump’s dependence on twitter to bypass the media could this be a tactic to decrease his reach down the home stretch?

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Via Elder of Ziyon let me tell you about a company called Asal technologies

“We have a window of opportunity to demonstrate our skills,” said Murad Tahboub, CEO of Asal Technologies, a Palestinian outsourcing company that works with Comply and a handful of other Israeli-based companies. “The more people know about us … the more comfortable they will be in doing business with us.” This is easier said than done. Comply’s office in Hod Hasharon is only about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Asal Technologies in the West Bank city of Ramallah – but they are worlds apart.

and when it comes down to outsourcing code for Israeli companies there is a real advantage to going local it when not surrounded

 

In the past three years, however, some have turned to Palestinian engineers and programmers. They are cheaper, ambitious, work in the same time zone, and – surprisingly to many Israelis – are similar to them.

“The cultural gap is much smaller than we would think,” said Gai Anbar, chief executive of Comply, an Israeli start-up in this central Israeli town that develops software for global pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Teva.

 

Well of course it is, you live in the same area, generally speak the same language and have many of the same concerns. If you check out their web site and twitter feed it looks like any other tech company, but the most important page is the careers page:

Client project:A large international software company is building new products and technologies and is seeking senior and junior software engineers to join an outsourcing project at ASAL Technologies.

The details:

B.Sc. in computer science, software/computer engineering, or related disciplines.
Strong knowledge in core computer science areas.
Solid object-oriented programming skills and OO design patterns.
Strong theory/algorithms and very good understanding on how to apply advanced knowledge to solve real problems.
Hands-on experience in agile software development, mobile applications, and multiple release cycles.
Strong analytical and organizational skills.
Methodical approaches to solving technical challenges with high attention to detail and data accuracy.
Highly motivated and self-reliant individual with true willingness to learn and work as part of a team.
Strong communication skills (oral and written) with the ability to act proactively.
Extra credit: Experience with mobile application development, cloud services, web scripting languages, Android, and Microsoft platforms/technologies.
Experience with mobile personal assistants is a plus.

The kicker, these jobs are located in Ramallah/Rawabi and the West Bank

Of all the stories of the middle east I suspect this is the one which is of the greatest threat to Hamas & the PA, first of all it destroys the false narrative out there:

Do you have internet?
Yes. We do have internet and electricity. Over the past 60 years, the West Bank had not sustained any outages due to political reasons. Currently ASAL Technologies has two fiber optic cables from two different ISPs to ensure 24/7 internet connectivity. And short term plans are to move the headquarters of ASAL Technologies to Rawabi -the first Palestinian smart city- where the infrastructure of the whole city has been optimized to meet international standards.

It’s an odd question to ask a software company, if they didn’t have internet they couldn’t operate now could they?

But how can you do business amid the violence and oppression?

Does the political situation affect your work?
No. Though it is hard to visualize if one hasn’t visited Palestine, the reality is that the political situation does not affect our ability to conduct business as usual with all of our clients. And to ensure that our employees can always access their workplace, we opened up a new branch in north of Palestine, and future plans are to open up yet another branch in the south.

You mean to say the evil jooes aren’t stopping you from making your business successful? Well put me in the laundry and pre-soak me 15 minutes!

All of these shatters the careful helpless meme built up concerning Israel. That’s bad for the PA, but the real threat to them is this:

If you have a class of Palestinians unshackled from the “death to Jews” mentality and furthermore not dependent on either terror dollars from Iran or handouts from the west for a living the entire dynamic changes.

I’ve said before that there is no limits to what the Arabs can achieve if they abandon their “death to the Jews” mantra and concentrate on making a better life where they are, these guys have the  potential to prove it.

I suspect ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad et/al  doesn’t approve they’d rather teach kids to stab jews. and as for the BDS movement it will have them going Kryten

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

This morning I wrote about a business that answered the $15 minimum wage in SF with Robots eliminating many of those positions. Via Lynn on Twitter we see a SF business that has gone in the other direction

since April, along with newly printed menus, every table sports a laminated card explaining just what a “living wage pizza” means.

All workers now earn $15 to $25 an hour as part of an experimental business model that also did away with gratuities and raised prices, making meals at all five locations “sustainably served, really … no tips necessary.”

The Result? A $30 pizza and a 25% drop in sales and the loss of lunch hours for some workers and more:

“The necessity of paying people a living wage in the Bay Area is clear, so it’s hard to argue against it, and it’s something I’m really proud to be able to try doing,” he said. “At the same time, I’m terrified of going out of business after 18 years.”

I predict a chain of robot Pizza shops in the area soon.

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I spoke David & Miriam of Adorote at the Catholic Marketing Trade show

Their web site is here you can find them on twitter here

It’s quite a drive from outside of Mexico City to NJ

Last week there wa a piece at Fox News concerning Seattle and the sudden discovery by some workers that an increased minimum wage has other costs:

Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

It’s a rational thought in the sense that if you can get $600 pay that you’re taxed on for working 40 hours or work half the time, get $300 that you’re taxed on PLUS $300 in government benefits that you’re not taxed you’ve effectively doubled your wages!

But there is something much more telling in this piece that brings to mind this TV commercial from Met Life.

The punchline of this commercial is that the Peanuts characters aren’t expected to understand why you can’t sell life insurance for five cents.

That sounds an awful lot like this San Francisco store owner who is doing his best to keep from closing thanks to a minimum wage hike ass in the city:

He doesn’t blame San Francisco voters for approving the $15 minimum wage, but he doesn’t think they had all the information needed to make a good decision.

Think about that sentence for a moment. He says flat-out the voters made a bad decision but somehow it’s not their fault for not having the info to make a good decision.

Why doesn’t he? Why isn’t it the responsibility of a voter to make an informed decision on a serious matter? Why, in an age where information and opinion are only a few clicks away, and the arguments of those who predicted exactly his result available to any who wanted to read them does this business owner assume that the same voters who send liberal stalwart Nancy Pelosi to the US congress time and time again should not be held responsible for their own ignorance?

Have we reached the point in America that when it comes to liberal voters, they are no expected to have any more sense than a bunch of cartoon characters? I guess that comes when schools are less interested in teaching business and math to people than analingus

Hey priorities are priorities.

Update:  At PJ Media

Those companies who can afford to not only pay their workers the new wage, but raise prices sufficiently to help pay for the increase. will survive. Those who work in industries where profit margins are small and highly sensitive to labor costs will have trouble. One thing is certain: there will be fewer workers receiving the minimum wage and fewer companies operating to pay them.

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Tom Hagen: Right now we have the unions and we have the gambling and those are the best things to have. But narcotics is a thing of the future. If we don’t get a piece of that action we risk everything we have. Not now, but ten years from now.

The Godfather 1972

At first glance this story is a source of a lot of chuckles

Sports on MSNBC? News Outlet Will Launch Streaming-Video Hub To Test New Shows, Hosts

What? Are we to believe that MSNBC’s particular blend of blind radical liberalism isn’t enough to carry a cable network?

MSNBC is getting ready to debut a new show about sports. And one focused on books. And another that will examine celebrity and popular culture. In all, the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network has 14 new programs ready to roll.

As you can guess the comments section is all about conservative Schadenfreude.

Is this code for liberalism has jumped the shark and Americans are tired of being preached at by Race- Baitors and heterophobes who think any weather pattern is caused by global warming.

While we are laughing at this a bit I think it’s important to point out that this is a smart move. They are playing the culture game to get some eyeballs which brings to mind some advice Instapundit gave to us on the right.

The political left has a quasi-monopoly in this slice of media. This is a serious effort; it’s time conservatives start competing.”

MSNBC has become a micro niche, by increasing their appeal outside their niche they have the potential to draw people to the network or influence people by their short promo videos.

We ought to be smart enough to do the same even if it takes time.

SearsBy John Ruberry

“‘Vanity of vanities,” saith the Preacher, “vanity of vanities; all is vanity.'”
Ecclesiastes 1-2.

There are many great American business success stories–and the rise of Sears, Roebuck and Company is one of the more compelling tales.

The last few pages of the book on Sears are blank–and the ending is not going to be a happy one.

Richard Sears, like many entrepreneurs, started small. The Minnesota railroad station agent first sold watches to other rail agents in 1886. After moving his business to Chicago and partnering with watch repairer Alvah Curtis Roebuck in the 1890s, the company created the legendary Sears catalog, where one could buy the 19th century version of everything. Because Richard grew up on a farm, he picked items for the catalog that he knew would appeal to farmers and small-town Americans.

In 1908, Sears created the build-it-yourself house kit–over 70,000 Sears homes were constructed. In 1925, Sears opened department stores and after World War II it successfully rode the wave of suburbanization that crosstown rival Montgomery Ward missed.

Willis Tower, center, onetime HQ of Sears
Willis Tower, center, former HQ of Sears, Roebuck and Company

But rural America, which was once Sear’s base market,  didn’t vanish–and it was in the countryside where Walmart founded in 1962. By 1990, Walmart surpassed Sears as America’s largest retailer, and the onetime behemoth has been struggling ever since. Kmart, another troubled retailer, merged with Sears ten years ago–creating Sears Holdings. The union was similar to a marriage between members of two cash-poor aristocratic families whose chief asset was their names.

Last week Fitch downgraded Sears bond-rating to Double-C, which according to Michael Aneiro of Barron’s, is “essentially the sub-basement of the speculative-grade ratings scale.”

Crain’s Chicago Business’ Joe Cahill speculates that the debt load could put the “closed” sign forever on Sears and its family of stores by 2016.

Three years ago, after threatening to move its headquarters out of Illinois, the state legislature gave $150 million in tax breaks to Sears Holdings so it would stay in the Prairie State.

What a waste of money that was.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Chicago-area resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Heard about the Market Basket Deal just a few minutes ago (11:20 PM) and here is what comes to mind.

 

Tomorrow I have shopping to do.

The financing of the deal is going to have to be paid for somehow.  It will likely have to come out of a combination of profits & prices so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some slightly higher prices short term.

The biggest danger that has to be resisted by the victorious employees is retaliation against those in their number who didn’t want to strike (with 25K workers that’s gotta be in the hundreds easy).

I suspect there will be a huge promotion at Market Basket sometime in the near future to celebrate, I imagine the grand re-opening event will be rather epic.

The Arthur S family while angry is sitting pretty, they just got a ton of money and I suspect are not liable for any of the losses over the last month as part of the deal.

I think that economics students will be writing about and doing papers on this for decades and centuries to come.

The workers who stuck their necks out will have a bond that will exist long after they leave Market Basket.

I’m wondering how long it will take the side business’ dependent on Market Basket to recover from the closing?

I hope the managers are planning to schedule any of the removed workers today because I suspect many of them started celebrating at 11 PM or so and are likely still sleeping it off as this post goes up at 7 AM EST.

It will be interesting to see how many if any, Market Basket customers don’t come back, will the number of new customers coming in to find out what was so good about the store that it was worth risking your job over make up for it?

After this week there will likely never be another “Market Basket Wars” post unless Arthur T. children don’t learn the lesson from this fight

Finally I must confess that while I’m very happy for the Market Basket Employees I’m particularly happy for me because this will make a big difference to my personal bottom line and with money VERY tight right now that’s important.