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FOXY RELIGIONIST-POLITICAL discrimination for Inhuman Economic Exploitation
April 10, 2007 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Meet Franklin, the Fair-Housing Fox. Says HUD: "Just as McGruff the Crime Dog represents the fight against crime, Franklin, the Fair Housing Fox, will symbolize the nation's efforts to end housing discrimination." And also, apparently, really, really bad web-page design.
posted by MrMoonPie (59 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Q.3: Do you know what this symbol means?

Ooh! Ooh! I know! It means you linked to a missing image!
posted by gurple at 2:08 PM on April 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


Question 9: My family saw an ad that said “Only white people need apply,” is this housing discrimination?
posted by awesomebrad at 2:09 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Holy crap.
posted by tittergrrl at 2:09 PM on April 10, 2007


My teenage sister can design better than this, based solely on her experience using Myspace.
posted by Industrial PhD at 2:10 PM on April 10, 2007


Not everyone's teenage sister has an Industrial PhD.
posted by grobstein at 2:11 PM on April 10, 2007


In some defense, glancing at the html source of some of the pages on the site, it looks like they were made originally in 1998.

And never left.
posted by tittergrrl at 2:14 PM on April 10, 2007


"Do you know what this image means?"

Yes. "Image link broken".
posted by Bugbread at 2:15 PM on April 10, 2007


D'oh!! Preview, preview, preview!
posted by Bugbread at 2:16 PM on April 10, 2007


Not everyone's grobstein has a ... wait what?
posted by Industrial PhD at 2:17 PM on April 10, 2007



In some defense, glancing at the html source of some of the pages on the site, it looks like they were made originally in 1998.


They were probably put together during the last administration and no one in the current band of fools running the government has bothered to update it since. Do you think that Bush's HUD cares one bit about housing discrimination?
posted by octothorpe at 2:20 PM on April 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Fair Housing: It's No An Option; It's the Law"

Emphasis mine.
posted by taliaferro at 2:22 PM on April 10, 2007


Stupid like a fox!
posted by hal9k at 2:23 PM on April 10, 2007


The shitty website is reflective of other current HUD corner cuts, such as maintenance and security in the nation's public housing projects. I hope that fox has kevlar, it's going to be fun summer.
posted by The Straightener at 2:25 PM on April 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know, I did wonder if the page was just really old. But the press release announcing the new mascot is on the HUD homepage, the first item under HUD Highlights. This was announced today.

You suppose this Franklin is related to previous notable fictional Franklins?
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:26 PM on April 10, 2007


can edward, the illegal immigration eagle, and arnold, the anti terrorist armadillo be far behind?
posted by pyramid termite at 2:30 PM on April 10, 2007


Homeland Security has Rex, the Ready Kids mountain lion.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2007


"Fair Housing: It's No An Option; It's the Law"

Aye, ye just doont get it, do ye, ye daft cunt? This fair housing, it's no an option; it's the law, likesee? Nay to be understood by greetin' bairns like yerselves.
posted by Bugbread at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2007 [12 favorites]


The Wayback Machine shows that the original gaudy Kids' page has been in that state since 1998, but indeed Franklin's page is new (no link or page as of 2006 and the press release linked above)
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2007




Franklin from Arrested Development was available. They should have used him.
posted by Frank Grimes at 2:43 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is depressing on many levels.
posted by miss tea at 2:50 PM on April 10, 2007


Bobby Bureau isn't so bad, I guess.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:54 PM on April 10, 2007


Bless the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

And in Franklin's defence, Happy the "Don't Do Stuff That Might Irritate Your Inner Ear" Badger and Jimmy the "Don't Hold On To A Large Magnet While Someone Else Uses A Fan Nearby" Falcon don't even have websites.
posted by teleskiving at 2:55 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here's your eagle, pyramid termite.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:56 PM on April 10, 2007


This makes me a sad panda.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:58 PM on April 10, 2007


I have a sneaky suspicion that they asked Philip M. LeDonne to design that website. He's the Illinois college student who ended up decorating the official Wyoming Easter Egg for the White House 2007 State Easter Eggs this year.
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on April 10, 2007


Don't forget to visit Terry and Friends at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Corey Corona at the National Reconnaissance Organization, or the NSA's CryptoKids.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:59 PM on April 10, 2007


Tax dollars well spent, I'm sure every kid now knows about Franklin Fox and how to spot housing discrimination.

Question 6: What is familial status discrimination?

I'm not sure how many little kids can even say "familial status discrimination" much less recognize it and report it Franklin Fox.

I'll bet there were at least 13 people on the committee that designed this gem of a page. Web .1 at it's finest.
posted by MikeMc at 3:07 PM on April 10, 2007


In France he would be called la Renard, and hunted with only his cunning to protect him.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:13 PM on April 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


It appears that children in the USA can not understand a concept with out a cartoon character attached to it. The preference seems to be anthropomorphic animals.

OMG. We are raising a nation of furrys.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 3:15 PM on April 10, 2007 [7 favorites]


While this is obviously cheesy and easy to snark at, I don't disagree with the principle here. They want to expose children to a very tangible aspect of how racism can affect people's lives.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:18 PM on April 10, 2007


my god ... is there a government agency that DOESN'T have some cutesy cartoon character for the kiddies associated with it?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:19 PM on April 10, 2007


I notice Franklin has an 800 number to call to report suspected discrimination, doesn't that silly fox know that snitches get stitches?
posted by MikeMc at 3:28 PM on April 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


doesn't that silly fox know that snitches get stitches?

Actually, protection from retribution is a criteria for Priority 1 status in some housing authorities (Boston, for one).

But yeah, this is pretty fucking sad. And thanks for the laugh, bugbread.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:45 PM on April 10, 2007


It's a good thing we can't see Franklin's tail; I have a feeling they didn't get around to removing the stripes when they changed from their original choice of animal.
posted by jamjam at 3:47 PM on April 10, 2007


pyramid termite - my god ... is there a government agency that DOESN'T have some cutesy cartoon character for the kiddies associated with it?

O.M.G.

Rex the Mountain Lion (Dept. Homeland Sec.) - and his Playboy interview.
posted by porpoise at 4:00 PM on April 10, 2007


I do not think "fox" means what they think it means.
posted by rob511 at 4:22 PM on April 10, 2007


If you've any sort of programming background, check out the page source for another good laugh.
posted by orthogonality at 4:23 PM on April 10, 2007


"Have a fair housing question for Franklin? Email him at Franklinthefairhousingfox@hud.gov."

Anybody want to write a question in to find out if some sleepy clerk is still getting paid to sit in front of his terminal awaiting the deluge of fair housing questions from children?
posted by Bugbread at 4:45 PM on April 10, 2007


This is what ass smells like in html.
posted by hal9k at 4:45 PM on April 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


What kind of dumbass fox wears a t-shirt?
posted by dirigibleman at 4:48 PM on April 10, 2007


You know what's sad? Is that the government passed a law requiring that all federal webpages be compliant with ADA regulations. Housing fairness ensures the same thing!

I don't wanna be a libertarian, but they're pushing me to it, I swear to god!

posted by DenOfSizer at 5:03 PM on April 10, 2007


My favorite mascot is still Crackers, the Corporate Crime Chicken.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:08 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]



Bugbread, it's done.. but names have been changed to protect the innocent.

From: imperium
Date: 11 April 2007 01:09:52 BDT
To: Franklinthefairhousingfox@hud.gov
Subject: Hi Franklin


Your web page says: "Fair Housing: It's No An Option; It's the Law".

Is that the Scots usage of "No", meaning "Not"?

yours
imperium
posted by imperium at 5:11 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Energy Information Administration's Energy Ant

The US Mint has a whole pocketful of "pals," including Flip the Mint Seal and Plinky the Mint Pig

Bucky the Clown from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is all about Kidd Safety

Herman the Crab doesn't care about black people

Why, you may ask, do we have all these anthropomorphic mascots for goverment offices? Two words: Woodsy Owl

Via Ben, from the Government Printing Office
posted by Rock Steady at 5:22 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mmmm... Tasty mint pig....
posted by dirigibleman at 5:55 PM on April 10, 2007


In defense, or at least explanation, of this site's existence: there is some law that requires every federal government agency to have a section of its web site specifically targeted to children. Pretty sure there was a MeFi thread about this long ago, which I'm too lazy to look up. Anyway, my favorite: Social Security for kids.
posted by staggernation at 6:53 PM on April 10, 2007


there is some law that requires every federal government agency to have a section of its web site specifically targeted to children

~~ Secret Life Falls asleep and dreams ~~

House Ethics Committee mascot: Franco "The Weasel" Tataglia

EPA mascot: Peehuey the Skunk

CDC mascot: Brownie the Rat and his pal, Itchy the Flea

Food Stamp Program mascot: Vinnie the Vulture

Justice Department mascot: Alberto the Ass
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:36 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the FEMA kids page:

* Have hurricane straps installed to keep the roof attached to the walls.

* Strap your water heater to a nearby wall.

* Put tile or flame-retardant shingles on your roof instead of wood shakes or standard shingles.

Man, when I was 7 years old I got to ride around on my bike after school, not put flame-retardant shingles on the roof and study familial discrimination. These government kids pages are really strange.
posted by rolypolyman at 8:07 PM on April 10, 2007


I don't know, I think it's cute in a really pathetic way. It's like, if some kindly old man started trying to help children but ended up looking like a pedophile instead. I just feel so bad for these people, keeping housing fair with their little animals. How can you rip on this?
posted by nasreddin at 10:11 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


My girlfriend and I think there should be a wolverine on one of those sites. Maybe he could use his mighty claws to shred unsolicited credit card offers and teach children about protecting themselves from identity theft?

Also, I wish there really was a "Don't Do Stuff That Might Irritate Your Inner Ear" badger.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:14 PM on April 10, 2007


government passed a law requiring that all federal webpages be compliant with ADA regulations.

Accessible federal web sites does not equal badly designed web pages. I think it's reasonable to require government communications to be accessible.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:30 PM on April 10, 2007


My wife and I looked at buyign a HUD home in a not bad neighborhood. Then we translated the terms of the loan into English. Particularly horifying was how the checks for the portion of the loan for "fixing the things that needed fixing" would be written. (Hint: how many tradesmen do you know who can sit on their hands for the better part of a year waiting to be paid?)

Bad web design? If Franklin leaned out of your monitor and poked out one of your eyes with his paw it would be bad web design. This is par for the course.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:51 AM on April 11, 2007


If Franklin leaned out of your monitor and poked out one of your eyes with his paw it would be bad web design.

no, that would be www.army.mil/guantamano/kids
posted by pyramid termite at 6:04 AM on April 11, 2007


I suppose a cartoon animal can make anything pleasent.
posted by byronimation at 8:31 AM on April 11, 2007


Speaking of FEMA 4 Kidz, their brilliant poem about Y2K, "The Wytookie" ("This giant bug will crush me with its pinching jaws, / So why are my parents worried about their computer's flaws?"), is still accessible, although not linked from their revised post-2000 homepage ("Some really negative people were frightening folks with comments about the world going dark at midnight on January 1, 2000... Some people feel that the integrated technology companies in India started with this one computer problem being addressed.")
posted by staggernation at 9:19 AM on April 11, 2007


From: Franklinthefairhousingfox@hud.gov
To: Imperium
Date: 11-Apr-2007 20:24
Subject: Re: Hi Franklin

Thank you, Imperium,

We caught it, too and we are correcting it.

***

Not even signed by Franklin personally. I think a human may have intervened. Maybe Franklin's paws make a qwerty keyboard hard to operate.

names are still changed to protect the innocent
posted by imperium at 4:25 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Holy shmizlit, there's someone still reading that email! Thanks, imperium!
posted by Bugbread at 5:45 PM on April 11, 2007


The spelling has been corrected, but the image is still missing. I guess someone needs to send them a smart-ass email on that subject, too. Sheesh.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:07 AM on April 12, 2007


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