Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

I am sure many of you wonder how I write this blog week after week. Is “hate blogging” a thing? Like people “hate watch” a TV show week after week because they hate it and pick it apart, I “hate blog” about the garbage mail that I get everyday.

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

Recently a paper was excepted to a fake vanity journal with no scholarly value. It has the catchy title of “Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List” (PDF) written by David Mazières and Eddie Kohler way back in 2005 as a protest of a fake computer science conference. Peter Vamplew dusted it off this year when he sent it as a reply to a spam email from the vanity press.

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

It was excepted, and rated as “excellent” by the journal’s peer-review process. Sadly it was not published because Mr. Vamplew would not pay the $150 publication fee.

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

My point is that some days that is the blog I want to write. It is so hard not to write “fuck these guys” over and over, with a couple of photos every post. It is the email I want to send when I ask the slimiest junk mail mills to put her on their suppression list. Epically when they give me some bullshit reply about “honoring people’s privacy and their right to receive our mail if they want to” Bitch, your “right to send junk mail” ended at the second piece of crap you, the company you run, and your scumbag clients, sent in one week.

Fuck This thing Particular

Fuck This Thing Particular

This Thanksgiving I am going to go camping for the weekend. I am going to a place with no cell service and no mailboxes. For 4 blissful days I will clear my head of all things junk mail. I am dreading the month of December. How many charities will send photos of sad hungry kids and big eyed weepy animals? Starting the week of December 15 shit is going to get real for everyone who darkens my mailbox. There are 2 choices for everyone next month: you either get a form 1500 or a letter from the DMA. Unless you are an international scam. Fuck those guys in particular.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Week in Junk Mail, 15 pieces

All 15 pieces

Something very interesting happened with the junk mail this week. I received  more charities than political junk mail. 4 political and 6 charities. Usually the political mail out numbers the charities 2 to 1.


United States Justice Foundation
2 in 1 day from United States Justice Foundation. Charity Navigator,  Source Watch page opt-out here. Also opt-out through Response Unlimited

Random Political Junk Mail
Random political junk mail


6 charities
6 Charities


4 scams
4 scams

  • 2 from C Logistic Processing
    Giuseppe (Pippo) di Fortunato Grand Master of Occultism Postbus 79 34530 AB Terneuzen Holland
    L&G Associates Swiss Notarial Office Canton of Geneva Postbus 54 4600 AA Bergen op Zoom Holland.
  • Immunocorp sent me a booklet Arctic Ruby Oil by Jorn Anderson. Aleksander Olson 2340 Mira Mar Ave Long Beach, CA 90815. If they send me another I will use a form 1500 to stop them
  • USP Vehicle Division 601 E third St Ste 400 Alton, IL 62002 1-855-239-0172

stuffed and ready to go
4 prepaid envelopes stuffed and ready to go

leftovers
leftovers

I need more weeks like this. It normally takes me 2-3 days to do the weekly round-up. This one only took one day.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Week in Junk Mail 25 pieces

There has been a casualty in the war on junk mail. I dropped my precious camera while taking photos of junk mail. It was an Olympus E-PM1 in purple. It will cost more to fix it that I can get one used. 😦

The same camera that did this:
Inyo National Forest, Papoose Flat, Arch
also took 99% of the photos on this blog.

R.I.P E-PM1

R.I.P E-PM1

Don’t worry about the blog, I have a back-up camera that will pick up the slack.


St. Joseph's Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal
David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin of CNN did a story about our good friends at St. Joseph’s Indian School. A different CNN reporter Melanie Hicken Melanie.Hicken@turner.com, is looking for junk mail stories. She has fallen down the junk mail rabbit hole with me. Her focus is on senior issues, retirement, and big data.


All 25 pieces
25 pieces this week. I hate it when I go backwards. The next big drop should be the second week in December. That is when InfoCision and American Target Advertising should drop me.

United States Justice Foundation
2 from United States Justice Foundation. Charity Navigator,  Source Watch page opt-out here. Also opt-out through Response Unlimited.

Ted Cruz Victory Committee
2 from the Ted Cruz Victory Committee (Find the Best page) a joint fundraising committee authorized by and composed of Ted Cruz for Senate (Open Secrets page) and the Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund (Open Secrets page). Opt-out here info@tedcruz.org

3 from American Target Advertising
3 from American Target Advertising

Random Political Junk Mail
Random Political junk mail


5 Charities
8 charities:

Great Ape trifecta
and the great ape trifecta

Please rush my chimpmas gift into action!
You are not seeing things the Save the Chimps envelope really says “Please rush my Chimpmas gift into action!”


5 scams


Stuffed and ready to go
Envelopes stuffed and ready to go

Great Ape stuffed envelopes
I wrote a special note to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and stuffed it with the other chimp charities.

2 form 1500's
2 form 1500’s are going to New York. They are Chad Chiniquy’s  Find, Fund, and Flip System and Guardian Entertainment Group

Leftovers
Leftovers

 

 

Drowning in Junk Mail – St. Joseph’s Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal

This week I got the St. Joseph’s Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal. Wonderful, just what I need more fake indian stuff made in China.

Opt-out here saintjosephs@stjo.org. It takes 90 days to cycle out of the system.

St. Joseph's Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal

This is the complete package with it you get:

  • Lakota Deamcatcher Ornament
  • Holiday Notepads
  • Holiday Gift Tags
  • Foil Address Labels & Stationery Seals
  • Advent Calendar
  • 3 Cards & Matching Envelopes

St. Joseph's Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal
This is the donation form and a Certificate of Appreciation for the donation I am about to give them.

St. Joseph's Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal

  • Lakota Deamcatcher Ornament
  • Holiday Notepads

St. Joseph's Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal

  • Holiday Gift Tags
  • Foil Address Labels & Stationery Seals
  • Advent Calendar

St. Joseph's Indian School 2014 Christmas Appeal
3 Cards & Matching Envelopes

Only 3 cards and one Deamcatcher Ornament?! I need more than that for all my family and friends! Calm down everyone, if you need more they sell it on their website.

Before you whip out your checkbook, I should tell you that they have 142 million in the bank right now.

Wiki page

WordPress blog

Charity Navigator page. No rating because they don’t file an IRS 990, because they are a church.

BBB’s Give.org page. They get a “Standards Not Met” rating. Mostly because they only spend 57% on programs (The BBB likes a charity to spend at a least 65% on programs) and they have misleading appeals implying that the kids are going to freeze to death if you don’t send money right now.

Blog post by “Something Better to Do” from 2009 with over 200 comments (some from this week) about the junk mail from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Another example of a package from 2011

Another example of a package from 2012

This person uses St. Joseph’s Indian School as a case study for great ways to get more money from your packages.

And then there is this from yesterday from CNNDavid Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin went to St. Joseph’s Indian School to talk to the people in charge. It is as awkward as you could possibly hope for. David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin are a great team. Just to give you an idea of what the charities they report on are up against, Mr. Fitzpatrick cut his teeth working on 60 Minutes. I had never herd the term “Poverty Porn” before. That is a new tag to ad to the list.

A response from the school on Indian Country Today Media Network (it features a beautiful photo of their junk mail)

Quadriga Arts does the fund raising for them. Quadriga Arts takes about 50% of the money raised. CNN report about Quadriga Arts.

Opt-out here saintjosephs@stjo.org

I contacted them way back in September. They will take a full 90 days to stop sending me crap. It is going to be a long 90 days.

This article about the Sioux protesting the Keystone Pipeline because it “will cross are Sacred Treaty Lands and to violate these lands by digging ditches for the pipelines is blasphemes to the beliefs of the Native Americans.” has an example of a beautiful dream catcher, made with love and not in China.

If you want to see more examples of Native American charity junk mail.

Hat tip to Cynthia for pointing out the CNN piece.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Week in Junk Mail 15 pieces

All 15 pieces

Only 15 pieces this week. This blog is stating to wind down. I don’t know what to with my time anymore. What will I do now that I don’t spend a half-hour opening, reading and sorting through 10+ pieces of junk mail everyday?


Form 1500 Step 2
The USPS sent paperwork for going to step 2 with a Prohibitory Order:

This letter is for me:

Based on the evidence you furnished us regarding a possible violation of Prohibitory Order 2080212, we have issued a Complaint (PS form 2153) against the mailer involed. A copy of the Complaint is enclosed for your records.

It has been our experiance that most mailers abide by the provisions of a Prohibitory Order issued against them under 39 USC 3008. However, in some cases, additional steps are necessary. Issuing a Complaint is the first step in the process designed to end violation of a Prohibitory Order.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

This letter is for Health Alert:

Health Alert 30 Ryan CT STE 100 Monterey CA 93940-5753

This concerns violation of Prohibitory Order number 2080212 issued against you and your agents or assigns on behalf of [name]

On 06/30/2014, you received a Prohibitory Order (see copy attached) issued under USC 3008 upon request of the above-named addressee. I have received evidence that the Prohibitory Order has been violated as follows:

BY FAILING TO DELETE IMMEDIATELY THE NAME OF THE ADDRESSEE (AND OF EACH CHILD) LISTED IN THE ORDER FROM MAILING LISTS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY YOU OR YOUR AGENTS OR ASSIGNS.

A copy of the face of the mailpiece is attached.

Any response to the Complaint or petition for a hearing with respect to it must be filed with me, in writing within 15 days after receipt of this Complaint. Attached is a copy of the rules of practice for hearings on such matters. Any petition for a hearing must comply fully with §963.3(a) of these rules.

For those of you that like to read postal law: Title 39 Code OF Federal Regulations Part 963 Rules of Practice in Proceedings Relative to Violations of The Pandering Advertisements Statue, 39 U.S.C. 3008


3 from Response Unlimited
3 from Response Unlimited

Random Political junk mail
Random political junk mail


3 charities
3 charities


3 scams
3 scams


Ready to go
1 form 1500 for Dr. Micozzi and 1 prepaid envelope


Leftovers

Leftovers

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Week in Junk Mail 14 pieces

All 14 pieces

I hope all of you enjoyed my 2 part Big Data extravaganza part 1, part 2. Let’s get back to the everyday nightmare of stopping junk mail. Only 14 pieces this week.

The letters I sent to the DMA are coming back:
Letters from the DMA to Carl Olson and Jerome Corsi

This one is to Carl Olson and Jerome Corsi of State Department Watch

This letter is concerning a complaint that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has received regarding mail pieces being sent from your organization to the above-named consumer. In our ongoing effort to build trust and be responsive to the consumers of the direct marketing industry, we are forwarding this complaint to you for your response.

Ms. [name] [relationship], Jennifer Bell, has tried repeatedly to remove her elderly [relationship] name and address from your organization’s mailing lists but has not been successful in having her requests honored. Please see enclosed correspondence. Ms. Bell has asked us to contact your organization to request that you remove her [relationship] name and address from your in-house mailing. Prospect and share lists.

The Direct Marketing Association encourages all marketers to adhere to its self-regulatory Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice and its Commitment to Consumer Choice (CCC) program http://www.dmaresponsibility.org/ and Compliance Center http://thedma.org/compliance/. This includes promptly honoring individual opt-out requests, whether the individual is a customer or prospective customer. Our guidelines require that you keep a list of consumers who have asked not to hear from you and remove them from lists you mail to, share or rent.

We ask your cooperation in complying with the consumer’s request in a timely manner. We would appreciate it if you respond directly to Ms. Bell and provide us with a copy of your response.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,

Lisa Brown Shosteck
DMA Corporate & Social Responsibility Department
lshosteck at the-dma dot org

Aww Snap! Lisa Brown Shosteck just laid down a can of woop ass from the DMA. BTW Lisa keep this letter on your computer, your gonna need it a few more times. I hope Carl Olson and Jerome Corsi write to me saying they are sorry for sending me so much junk mail. But I am not holding my breath. If this works I will make a blog post about it. In this case I will give State Department Watch until Christmas week. Anything after that and I will tell Lisa on them.


2 from Base Connect
2 from Base Connect

2 from ATA
2 from  American Target Advertising

Random Political Junk Mail
Random political junk mail


2 charities
2 charities


3 scams
4 scams

Arthritis Trust of America going to step 2
And The Arthritis Trust of America PO Box 7003 Merrifield VA 22116-7003. This is a scam charity that has a scam sweepstakes attached to it. #48 Worst Charities in America. It is going to step 2 with the USPS.


3 pre paid envelopes
3 pre-paid envelops

2 pieces of junk mail getting a form 1500
2 mailpieces going to the Pricing and Classification Center in New York

leftovers
Leftovers

 

Big Data part 2 , How to Opt-out of Big Data

In my last post we learned about what big data is. Today we will learn how to opt-out of it. What I wanted is very simple, compared to the media black out I am about to teach you. Because I am not her, it was harder to opt-out of some data companies than others (this is sensitive information blah blah blah). Dropping that I had power of attorney on them usually did the trick. You can do as little or as much as you want. Just know that every time you swipe your member card at the super market you undo a part of this. Just using the internet people can track you. I am tracking you right now. I know the search term you typed into a search engine to find this blog. I know what country you are in. This topic gets very creepy very fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENIAC

Mrs. Smith has just looked up “baby stroller”on Google. We need to make sure every ad she sees on the internet today, are for baby strollers.


This list is a combination of 4 websites: World Privacy Forum and Stop Data Mining Me, a Reddit thread and a new article from Computer World. They are all a little different, and some of the links were out of date.

DMA Choice If you have read this blog more than 5 minutes, you should have done this all ready.

Opt-Out Pre-Screen or call1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) to opt-out of credit card offers. They are going to ask you for your Social Security Number. It is OK, that is the way the credit bureaus ID you.

The 3 credit bureaus and FICO:

Data Brokers:

People Searches:

  •  Intelius people search opt-out here. They want you to send them your driver’s license with the photo and the number blacked out. The next 3 are all owned by Intelius but you have to opt-out for each one individually.
    • PublicRecords360 opt-out here or fax them your driver’s license (photo and license number blacked out) to 425-974-6194
    • ZabaSearch.com Record blocking page, you have to fax them your driver’s license (photo and license number blacked out) to 425-974-6194
    • PeopleLookup.com you have to fax them your driver’s license (photo and license number blacked out) to 425-974-6194
  • People Finders  opt-out here. That was the best one so far. I wish they were all that easy.
  • Spokeo Inc. opt-out here. You must look yourself up in their system and tell them the URL that you want deleted.
  • Zoominfo opt-out here. They ID you by your email. Enter your email and they send you an email to tell you if you are in their system.
  • Pipl opt-out here you have to put your name in URL form https://pipl.com/n/firstname_lastname/ and it will pull up everyone with your name.
  • MyLife.com To delete your profile email privacy@mylife.com or call (888) 704-1900
  • BeenVerified.com opt-out page
  • PeekYou.com opt-out page
  • USSearch.com call (800) 877-3272
  • PeopleSmart.com opt-out page. It is very nice and easy to use. But they want me to give them an email address and a password to a website I will never use.
  • PrivateEye.com opt-out page. They want all your addresses going back 20 years, then to mail this form in.
  • WhitePages.com  Data policy page. These guys are lame they put it all on 3rd parties. It’s not us tracking you, it is these guys we hired.
  • USA-People-Search.com opt-out page
  • DOBSearch.com you have to fax them your driver’s license (photo and license number blacked out) to 516-717-3017
  • Radaris.com How to opt-out you have to sign up and claim your page. To do that you must give them all of your info. WTF?!

These are just the top sites. The theory is that if you opt-out of these top sites it will filter down to the copy cat sites.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s Privacy Badger blocks spying ads and invisible trackers that follow you around while you are surfing the internet

Universal Web Tracking Opt Out Do Not Track it is a plug-in for your browser.

You can see who is tracking you online and then opt-out of them NetWorkAdvertising.org

Like everything now a days there is an app for that: abine’s Blur for private browsing so big data can’t track you on the web, $39 a month for premium service, or their Delete Me service that “deletes your personal information from the internet” that costs $129 for a year subscription.

There is also MyLife.com. they charge 95.40 a year after a 7 day free trial.

From now on do not enter drawings or sweepstakes at the fair or the ballpark. It is not about winning the car it is about getting your info. Same goes for product registration cards or warranty cards that come with your new toaster. Don’t fill out surveys that come in junk mail, they just want your demographic data so they can market to you better. Don’t completely fill out your social media profile. Don’t tell it where you live, where you work, when your were born. “If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

Forbes talking about the big business of selling your info when you move.

If you want to read more about how to protect your personal data Computer World has a 3 part series The paranoid’s survival guide . Part 1 How to protect your personal data, Part 2 Protect your privacy on social, mobile and more, and Part 3 Opting out, and how to protect your personal data offline

Today’s photo is of ENIAC

Big Data part 1 – Who or What is Big Data?

I have been reluctant to talk about Big Data. It is a huge topic, and researching it can take you to some strange and creepy corners of the internet. But in the over all story of stoping junk mail, and keeping it stopped it is important. To Big Data you are not a person, but a file made up of data points. They are not sending junk mail to you, but to your data points.

CNN’s Ed Lavandera talking about data broker acxiom

In this New York Times article they tell the story of Target using buying habits to figure out if a woman is pregnant, with a great anecdote involving an angry father who was a casualty in the data mining war:

As the marketers explained to Pole — and as Pole later explained to me, back when we were still speaking and before Target told him to stop — new parents are a retailer’s holy grail. Most shoppers don’t buy everything they need at one store. Instead, they buy groceries at the grocery store and toys at the toy store, and they visit Target only when they need certain items they associate with Target — cleaning supplies, say, or new socks or a six-month supply of toilet paper. But Target sells everything from milk to stuffed animals to lawn furniture to electronics, so one of the company’s primary goals is convincing customers that the only store they need is Target. But it’s a tough message to get across, even with the most ingenious ad campaigns, because once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them.

 

Because birth records are usually public, the moment a couple have a new baby, they are almost instantaneously barraged with offers and incentives and advertisements from all sorts of companies. Which means that the key is to reach them earlier, before any other retailers know a baby is on the way. Specifically, the marketers said they wanted to send specially designed ads to women in their second trimester, which is when most expectant mothers begin buying all sorts of new things, like prenatal vitamins and maternity clothing. “Can you give us a list?” the marketers asked.

 

As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.

 

About a year after Pole created his pregnancy-prediction model, a man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching coupons that had been sent to his daughter, and he was angry, according to an employee who participated in the conversation.

“My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”

The manager didn’t have any idea what the man was talking about. He looked at the mailer. Sure enough, it was addressed to the man’s daughter and contained advertisements for maternity clothing, nursery furniture and pictures of smiling infants. The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again.

On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”

 

“We have the capacity to send every customer an ad booklet, specifically designed for them, that says, ‘Here’s everything you bought last week and a coupon for it,’ ” one Target executive told me. “We do that for grocery products all the time.” But for pregnant women, Target’s goal was selling them baby items they didn’t even know they needed yet.

“With the pregnancy products, though, we learned that some women react badly,” the executive said. “Then we started mixing in all these ads for things we knew pregnant women would never buy, so the baby ads looked random. We’d put an ad for a lawn mower next to diapers. We’d put a coupon for wineglasses next to infant clothes. That way, it looked like all the products were chosen by chance.

“And we found out that as long as a pregnant woman thinks she hasn’t been spied on, she’ll use the coupons. She just assumes that everyone else on her block got the same mailer for diapers and cribs. As long as we don’t spook her, it works.”

 

http://fortune.com/2014/09/18/walter-isaacson-the-women-of-eniac/

Mrs. Smith has just bought prenatal vitamins. Send diaper coupons out to her STAT!

Pregnant women are such a target that this woman tried to go her whole pregnancy without advertisers or the internet finding out. Instead of acting like a mother to be, she ended up acting like a criminal.


Article by Advertising Age that talks about how retailers have all this data about us, but they don’t know how to use it properly.


Visa, the world’s largest credit card network, can predict how likely you are to get a divorce.

How big data helped Trump become president 


Some stories about Big Data by Melanie Hicken the reporter who contacted me.

Find out what Big Data knows about you (it may be very wrong)

Big Data is secretly scoring you

Big Data: Look who’s buying your personal information

Feds say it’s time to regulate Big Data


How about some TED Talks? Everyone loves TED Talks: 9 TED Talks about Big Data

Now that you are hiding under the bed clutching on to your data, come back tomorrow and I will show you how to take control of the information about you that is floating around.

Today’s image is of the ENIAC. It is a part of a Fortune piece about the women who programed the ENIAC.