Alert the media! The CPSC has a sense of humor

Thanks to a tip from Mark Riffey (via Jennifer Taggert), the tubes are awash with the news of a seven minute interview of Julie Vallese, former (effective today) spokesperson of the Consumer Protection Safety Commission with KBAL TV in Baltimore.  Most people seem to be upset by it but I found it hilarious, reminiscent of Sister Mary Ignatius explains it all for you. Between insulting mommy bloggers (moi?), back pedaling and outright obfuscation, the video made for an evening of levity and intellectually ribald entertainment. That was sorely needed considering the recent strategies of special interest groups who are responsible for passage of this law in the first place. Anyway, Mark’s link to the video inspired me to find the transcript of the interview so I could examine the content more closely. Luckily enough, I found one! Well, maybe not the actual transcript but what appears below is a fairly accurate facsimile (minor edits are mine):

The missile knows where it is at all times. It knows this because it knows where it isn’t. By subtracting where it is from where it isn’t (or where it isn’t from where it is) it obtains a difference or deviation. The guidance system uses deviations to generate corrective commands to drive the missile from the position where it is, to the position where it isn’t. The missile arrives at the position where it wasn’t, consequently the position where it was, is now the position where it isn’t. In the event that the position where it is now, is not the same position where it originally wasn’t, the system has acquired a variation, the variation being the difference between where the missile is and where the missile wasn’t. Moreover, the missile must now know where it was also. The “thought process” of the missile is as follows: Because a variation has modified some of the information which the missile had obtained, it is not sure where it is. However, it is sure where it isn’t and it knows where it was. It now subtracts where it should be from where it wasn’t (or vice versa) and by differentiating this from the algebraic difference between where it shouldn’t be and where it was, it is able to obtain the difference between it’s deviation and it’s variation, this difference being called the Error.

In the end, is CPSIA is the missile and Julie is the Error? Ah, that could explain why she’s the former CPSC spokesperson.

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Kathleen Fasanella

Kathleen started production patternmaking in 1981. Starting in 1993, she began providing consulting and engineering services to manufacturers, small companies, and startups with an emphasis on developing owner-operator domestic cut-and-sew operations. In 2015 she opened a 5,000 sqft. fully equipped sewing factory: The Sewing Factory School. Kathleen is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, the most highly rated book of any topic in the garment industry. She's been mentioned numerous times in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, National Public Radio, Boston Globe, LA Times, Vogue, French Vogue and has at least 15 Project Runway alums at last count. Kathleen writes nearly all of the articles on and hosts its forum, the largest private online community for apparel manufacturers on the web.

16 thoughts on “Alert the media! The CPSC has a sense of humor”

  1. It reminded me of a “conversation” I had once with a school district official. I called asking if my then 5-year-old daughter could be admitted directly into first grade instead of Kindergarten, since she’d already completed a year of homeschool Kindergarten and was reading on a 2nd grade level. Would the principal be able to make that decision? “Well she might be able to do it, or she might not.” If the principal can’t, will the district help? “We might, or we might not.” Until that day I’d never heard anyone make an entire conversation out of the Law of the Excluded Middle, but this woman pulled it off. It was truly amazing.

    So Julie Vallese is the second person I’ve encountered who can make an entire conversation out of the Law of the Excluded Middle.

  2. Yes, the interview was so bad it was really, really good (for a laugh). I’ve also enjoyed reading the blog posts since the interview aired. It has made for one of the very few lighthearted days since news of the CPSIA hit. Your post is one of the best so far. Better laughing than crying, right?

  3. God knows, we all needed a good laugh. Thanks for clarifying the obfuscation, or furthur obfuscating the clarification, or telling us what the CPSIA means, by way of what it doesn’t.

    I’ll sleep better, now.

  4. What kind of plant is that in the background? It kind of looks like, um,…might explain the nonsensical choice of words….just saying…

  5. I dont think I have enough coffee to absorb this crap. I love how shes NOT EVEN WORKIGN FOR THE CPSC anymore!! AND I love how there was a commercial for the army before it for some fund for those who serve in the army–“40k to build your business” NOT IF YOU WANT TO SELL KIDS STUFF!
    Thanks guys…you risked your life to save our country…but don’t you DARE try to start a biz selling kids items…

    SIGH. Need more coffee!

  6. That’s sadly funny… I love it when politicians, cronies and others try to avoid actually answering a straight-forward question.

    It’s even better when the act she’s supporting is so ridiculously vague that she sounds like an idiot speaking about it. Way to go, Julie!

  7. I wish the inteview had been aired more widely than the Baltimore station. I would love to see Kristen Wiig on SNL do a spoof of that one! She’d be so perfect!!!

  8. Level of Confidence??? ROFL.. I’d like to see that hold up when the CPSC comes after a reseller..

    Not specified in the law, but a reseller can look at the item and decide whether they feel confident enough to take the risk..

    yeah right.

    They must’ve been smoking that plant before the interview.

    Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  9. Wow, she is related to Palin. It reminded me of the Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin. However, Katie wouldn’t have let Julie off the hook so easily!!!! What the hell? How’d you like to be paid Julie’s (former) salary to be an idiot?!?!? Some gals have all the luck!

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