Article 43


Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The OPM’s Free Credit Monitoring

Have you heard about the big OPM hack earlier this year?


The U.S. agency burglarized by suspected Chinese hackers has completed its long-awaited damage assessment and more than 22 million people inside and outside government likely had their personal information stolen

A lot of people with security clearances got their records stolen.

Again, from ABC NEWS:

Applicants seeking U.S. security clearances are required to provide the full names, dates of birth, places of birth and social security numbers of spouses or partners. Relatives’ full names, dates of birth, current addresses and in some cases employment information are also required. And applicants are asked to the full names, dates of birth and addresses of “foreign contacts” defined as a foreign national, including relatives, “with whom you, or your spouse, or cohabitant are bound by affection, influence, common interests, and/or obligation.”

It’s still unclear exactly what was compromised by the OPM hack, particularly because OPM officials and other authorities still don’t have a good handle on how much information was actually stored by OPM in the first place, one U.S. official said. Nearly 50 government agencies send data to OPM for storage in some form, according to the official.

The government is giving everyone affected FREE CREDIT MONITORING through MY ID CARE. (watch out, I hit a Google Analytics tracker there)

Are you not getting messages from them via email?

Why not?

Maybe because their SPF RECORDS are MESSED UP:


# dig -t txt +short

“v=spf1 mx ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: -all”

“v=spf1 ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: p4: ip4: ip4: ip4: -all”

See that SPF1 DNS entry starting with p4 instead of IP4? That typo blows an spf lookup, and your mail server may REJECT the letter because of that with something like:

from=<>, reject=550 5.7.1 “Letter rejected, SPF lookup error”

Do they not know?

Do they /dev/null the NDRS?

Seems possible.

I emailed their postmaster.

That letter got stuck in their mail system and comically told me to email the postmaster if I’m having trouble emailing the postmatser:

Mail Delivery System<>

This is the mail system at host

I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
be delivered
to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.

For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
delete your own text from the attached returned message.

The mail system

<root@localhost.localdomain> (expanded from ): mail
forwarding loop for

Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Original-Recipient: rfc822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.4.6
Diagnostic-Code: X-Postfix; mail forwarding loop for

This is a place the US Government hired to proactively warn us (like via email) of misuse of the personal records that were stolen from their databanks.

Their email and DNS both seem to be broken.

And everything seems to be a THIRD PARTY

Sometimes you gotta shake your head in disbelief.

Posted by Elvis on 12/08/15 •
Section Dying America
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Sunday, December 06, 2015

The Truth About Unemployment

326,000 Native-Born Americans Lost Their Job In November: Why This Remains The Most Important Jobs Chart

Bu Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
December 5, 2015

Friday’s release of a “just right” jobs report, in which the US economy reportedly added 211,000 jobs, more than the 200,000 expected, solidified its position as the “most important” one in recent years, after it was broadly interpreted by economists as the sufficient condition for the Fed to hike rates on December 16, 7 years to the day after the same Fed cut rates to zero.

As such, if indeed the Fed does hike, over the next several quarters, the US labor data will take a secondary place in terms of importance unless, of course, it plummets in which case the Fed will be forced to quickly undo its tightening policy and go back to ZIRP if not NIRP and more QE.

However, even as the Fed’s “data (in)dependent” monetary policy takes on secondary relevance as we enter 2016, one aspect of the US jobs market is certain to take on an unprecedented importance.

We first laid out what that is three months ago when we said that “the one chart that matters more than ever, has little to nothing to do with the Fed’s monetary policy, but everything to do with the November 2016 presidential elections in which the topic of immigration, both legal and illegal, is shaping up to be the most rancorous, contentious and divisive.”

We were talking about the chart showing the cumulative addition of foreign-born and native-born workers added to US payrolls according to the BLS since December 2007, i.e., since the start of the recession/Second Great Depression.

Curiously, it is precisely this data that got absolutely no mention following yesterday’s job report, about which the fawning mainstream media only noted, in passing, one negative aspect to the report: the fact that 319,000 part-time jobs for economic reasons were added in November. However, with Trump and his anti-immigration campaign having just taken the biggest lead in the republican primary race, we are confident that the chart shown below will soon be recognizable to economic and political pundits everywhere.

And here is why we are confident this particular data should have been prominently noted by all experts when dissecting yesterday’s job report: according to the BLS’ Household Survey, while 375,000 foreign-born workers found jobs in November, a whopping 326,000 native-born Americans lost theirs.

images- native vs foreign born Americans

How does this data look like over the long-run: presenting, the cumulative number of job gains by foreign born workers since December 2007. At 25.5 million, it is the highest in the series.

image - foreign born Americans Nov 2015

If only the chart for native-born workers was anything remotely as buoyant.

image - foreign born Americans Nov 2015

And here, as we have shown previously, is the most important jobs chart for 2016: since December 2007 the US economy added just 747,000 native-born workers (a number which tumbled as much as 8 million during the depths of the crisis), compared to a 260% greater increase in foreign-born workers, to just under 2.7 million.

image - foreign vs native born since 2007

image - foreign vs native born since 2007 comparison

We are confident that one can make the case that there are considerations on both the labor demand-side (whether US employers have a natural tendency to hire foreign-born workers is open to debate) as well as on the supply-side: it may be easier to obtain wage-equivalent welfare compensation for native-born Americans than for their foreign-born peers, forcing the latter group to be much more engaged and active in finding a wage-paying job.

However, the underlying economics of this trend are largely irrelevant: as the presidential primary race hits a crescendo all that will matter is the soundbite that over the past 8 years, 2.7 million foreign-born Americans have found a job compared to only 747,000 native-born. The result is a combustible mess that will lead to serious fireworks during each and every subsequent GOP primary debate, especially if Trump remains solidly in the lead.



The Truth About Unemployment

By Mark Blessington
Huffington Post
December 4, 2015

Have you ever wondered why publicized unemployment is so low yet so many people don’t have jobs? The U.S. Department of Labor announced that unemployment in October was 5 percent. The details in the same report, however, show that 37 percent of our working age population did not have a job in October. The same confusion surfaced during the fourth Republican debate. Two candidates said that we have 40 percent unemployment while the moderator said it was 5 percent.

What is going on?

One answer is technical. The 5 percent and 37 percent have the same numerator but different denominators. The 37 percent denominator is “civilian non-institutional population age 16 and older.” In other words, if you are 16 or over and not an inmate of an institution (for example, penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and not on active duty in the Armed Forces, then you qualify as a potential worker and are included in the denominator. On the other hand, the 5 percent only reflects people who “made specific efforts to find employment.” You must do things like apply for a job to be included in the denominator. If you don’t actively and frequently try to get a job, then you are officially excluded from the labor market.

image - real vs publicized unemployment

The second answer is political. The restrictive definition used to define labor market has better “optics” from a public relations perspective. No U.S. President wants to report a high level of unemployment. By keeping the denominator low, each administration--Republican and Democratic--protects itself from criticism and bad press about the ineffectiveness of their economic policies. Conversely, the interests of the opposing political party are served by referencing the high unemployment statistic.

The third answer involves corporate greed. Business owners prefer low wages, which drives up profits for shareholders and bonuses for senior executives. When many people are unemployed, businesses can pay less. If the large 37 percent unemployment number gets too much attention, then government is more likely to hire unemployed persons or launch jobs stimulus programs. As more people are hired, fewer remain for businesses to hire, which raises their value and allows them to demand higher wages. So businesses want government to focus on the low unemployment figure.

Most workers lose when unemployment is understated. The common labor market definition ignores a wide range of issues. For example, what if someone already tried for months and all they could find were jobs with low pay, no benefits, no career advancement and no valuable training? What if no available jobs utilize their education? What if most of their friends and peers experience the same thing and have also given up on the U.S. job market?

There is another problem: the deflated unemployment figure can give a totally false reading of unemployment. For example, since 2010 real unemployment has been on the rise, while publicized unemployment has steadily declined.

We need to know the real story and not be swayed by politically motivated unemployment statistics.

image - truth about unemployment

It is important to remember that our country was founded on self-employment. Most historians estimate that over 80 percent of adult males in the U.S. were self-employed for the first 50 or more years before and after winning independence. These workers would be excluded from the current labor market definition. This makes no sense at all.

As our country changes, so should our concept of how to measure employment. Today’s younger generations want self-employment or fulfillment and high flexibility and from their employer. In many ways they are returning to the spirit of our Founders. They want to be independent and fulfilled in their work. They want more control over their professional lives. They don’t take the first available job; that’s just not a value they share with their parents and grandparents.

There are tremendous benefits to an economy fueled by self-employment. There are no “too big to fail” problems, and income disparity almost disappears. Rather than ignore today’s labor force reality, the Department of Labor should be asking more meaningful questions in their monthly employment survey. They should ask questions like: “Have you stopped looking for work because the right job isn’t available?” Answers to this question would probably come much closer to the 37 percent than the official 5 percent statistic.

In order to maximize our country’s productivity and prosperity, we need a dramatic increase in attractive jobs. Workers can’t be shamed into taking jobs with political rhetoric like “get a job you lazy bum!” That tack does not work any more; most of today’s labor force is immune to it. The long-term health of our economy depends on offering more jobs that are enticing to workers. Slogans like “pay a living wage” and “provide meaningful, fulfilling work” must become the prevailing economic mantra.

Mark Blessington is a sales and marketing consultant and has worked with many of the world’s largest corporations. He has written four books, ranging from Deep Economics to Sales Forecasting.



The Anomaly of U-3: Why the Unemployment Rate is Overstating the Strength of Todays Labor Market

By Nick Buffe
Center For Economic Policy Research
December 2015

By examining the historical relationship between the unemployment rate and alternative measures of labor market slack, it is determined that today’s labor market has far more slack than is typically associated with an unemployment rate of 5.0 percent. It is therefore unlikely that the economy is at or near full employment:

Unemployed workers are more likely to have been fired and are less likely to have quit their jobs than we would expect given 5.0 percent unemployment;

Based on the average duration of unemployment and the high incidence of long-term unemployment, the unemployed are still having significant trouble finding jobs;

Broader measures of unemployment which count people as unemployed if they want a job or have searched for work within the past year indicate that the U-3 rate is lower than it should be. In other words, the U-3 unemployment rate is low not because the labor market has been good at providing workers with jobs, but rather because most jobless workers haven’t searched for work in the past month; and

There are far more involuntary part-time workers than we’d normally expect given 5.0 percent unemployment. While the unemployment rate may have normalized, underemployment is still abnormally high.

Read the report HERE or HERE.


Posted by Elvis on 12/06/15 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America
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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

10 Behaviors of Genuine People

By Steve Tobak
March 15, 2015

Whether youre building a business, a network, or friendships, you always want to look for people who are genuine. After all, nobody wants to work or hang out with a phony. On the flipside, that goes for you, as well. Bet you never considered that.

In case you’re wondering, genuine means actual, real, sincere, honest. Genuine people are more or less the same on the inside as their behavior is on the outside. Unfortunately, it’s a tough quality to discern. The problem is that all human interactions are relative. Theyre all a function of how we perceive each other through our own subjective lenses.

Being genuine is also a rare quality. In a world full of phony fads, media hype, virtual personas, positive thinkers, and personal brands Җ where everyone wants what they dont have, nobody\s content to be who they are, and, more importantly, nobodys willing to admit to any of that Җ its becoming more and more rare all the time. 

To help you identify this rare breed—in yourself, as well—this is how genuine people behave.

They don’t seek attention. They don’t need constant reinforcement of their own ego. Where attention seekers have a hole that constantly needs to be filled, genuine people are already filled with self-confidence and self-awareness.

They’re not concerned with being liked. The need to be liked is born of insecurity and narcissism. It creates a need to manipulate your own and others emotions. Confident and authentic people are simply themselves. If you like them, fine. If not, thatҒs fine, too.

They can tell when others are full of it. Perhaps nave folks can be easily fooled, but genuine people are not nave. They﯒re grounded in reality and that gives them a baseline from which they can tell when things dont add up. ThereҒs a big difference.

They are comfortable in their own skin. In his late 70s, actor Leonard Nimoy said he was closer than ever to being as comfortable with himself as Spock appeared to be. Most of us struggle with that. As Henry David Thoreau observed, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

They do what they say and say what they mean. They dont tend to overreach or exaggerate. They meet their commitments. And they don’t parse their words or sugarcoat the truth. If you need to hear it, theyll tell you… even if its tough for them to say and for you to hear.

They don’t need a lot of stuff. When youre comfortable with whom you are, you donҒt need a lot of external stuff to be happy. You know where to find happiness inside yourself, your loved ones, and your work. You find happiness in the simple things.

They’re not thin-skinned. They dont take themselves too seriously so they don’t take offense when none is intended.

They’re not overly modest or boastful. Since they’re confident of their strengths, they dont need to brag about them. Likewise, they donҒt exhibit false modesty. Humility is a positive trait but its even better to just be straightforward.

They’re consistent. You might describe genuine people as being weighty, solid, or substantial. Since they know themselves well and are in touch with their genuine emotions, theyre more or less predictable ... in a good way. 

They practice what they preach. They’re not likely to advise people to do something they wouldnt do themselves. After all, genuine people know they’re no better than anyone else so its not in their nature to be self-righteous. 

All those seemingly different behaviors have the same thing at their core: self-awareness that’s consistent with reality. Genuine people see themselves as others would if they were objective observers. There’s not a lot of processing, manipulating, or controlling going on between what’s in their head and what people see and hear.

Once you get to know them, genuine people turn out to be more or less consistent with the way they initially hold themselves out to be. What you see is what you get. It’s sad that, in today’s world, such a positive quality is at risk of becoming endangered. Not only is it harder to find in others, it’s becoming harder to be genuine ourselves.


Posted by Elvis on 12/01/15 •
Section Spiritual Diversions
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