Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Staring Down the Barrell

 

Top Bible Prophecy Stories of 2015

 

 
 
Things are not falling apart -- they are falling into place. If Jesus chastised the Pharisees for not knowing the signs of His first coming, why would we not be expected to be aware of today's apocalyptic signs? Here are some of the top prophetic developments of 2015.

1)   Israel's worsening isolation. (Zechariah 12:3) The Left in America under Barack Obama abandoned her some years ago. With the defeat of Canada's Stephen Harper, Israel was left only with some evangelical Christians spread around the world. She has no superpower backing.
 
2)  The "days of Noah" are back. (Matthew 24:37)  Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. (Judges 17:6) Lawlessness is the order of the day. Evil is glorified. The White House was adorned with the colors of the homosexual rainbow and Hillary Clinton has a campaign ad with homosexuals engaged in debauchery as she celebrates their actions.  
 
3)  The disillusionment with today's politician is setting the stage for a "man with a plan" who will not be a politician but who will have the answer to all the world's problems. We don't know his name. We know his title is Antichrist. He may be the only one who can stabilize the ISIS crisis being planned for a naive Western world.
 
 
4)  The rise of strong delusion. (II Thessalonians 2:10-12). Simply put, God sends a strong delusion to those who choose not to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who take delight in mocking and rejecting Him, He will condemn, confuse their thinking, and cause them to believe fables. And they do!  Islam is good and peaceful; guns are evil; climate change is more dangerous than jihadists; Israel is the bad guy and the Palestinians are the new heroes in the church today; ISIS isn't Islam; Muslim refugees are peaceful and will help the Western world. This is an "Alice-in-Wonderland" world. Christians don't fit. The Mad Hatter rules.
 
5)  The further decline of America. She is not in the Bible in the end-times. Russia and Iran are the primary players in the Mideast now. America's influence for good is vanishing under Barack Obama. America will blend into global government.  
 
6)   America is being given over to paganism. A few months ago the Hindu goddess Kali appeared on the Empire State Building in New York City. Twenty years ago this was unthinkable. It is now cool.  
 
7)  Israel is being prepared for the Antichrist. She is surrounded by enemies. She has Hezbollah, ISIS, Russia and Syria to the north and East and Hamas to the south in Gaza. Iran boasts daily that she will dump nukes on Israel. At some point she will cave to these threats and call on the Antichrist to make a peace treaty -- particularly in light of the loss of American support.
 
8)  Gog is now on the move.  If Gog is Russia, Vladimir Putin has re-built her from the days when Ronald Reagan reined her in. Russia is advancing in many places.  All the Gog-Magog nations are aligning and are in the news: Iran, Russia, Turkey, Libya, and more. Prominent Bible-players are moving around as though they were on a chess board.
See Ezekiel 38-39.
 
9)   Israel has been bombing the suburbs of Damascus taking out concealed weapons. The Bible foretells a time when Damascus will become a ruinous heap. (Isaiah 35:1)
 
10)  Christians are mocked as never before and Jews are fleeing to Israel at a pace not seen since post WW2.  (Matthew 10:22) Only Islam is glorified, honored, and protected. In the Iraq/Syria region, a Christian is slaughtered every 5 minutes, yet few show any concern. Christianity is being erased from the region of its birth.  All of this intensified in 2015.  
 
11) The technology giants want to suppress the truth and marginalize Christians.  From YouTube, to Google, to Facebook, to Twitter, and more, the gospel message is censored and evil is glorified. They are preparing the way for "Mark of the Beast" technology. This was on overdrive in 2015. Stories reveal that Windows 10 actually spies on emails, credit cards, and more.
 
12)  There was a cry for a global religion from Pope Francis to the Parliament of World Religions in Utah in late 2015. If the world is ever to be one, religions also must be united.  Pope Francis revealed himself to be an apocalyptic figure in 2015. We cannot "pin the tail of the False Prophet" on him quite yet, but even conservative Catholics are troubled by this Jesuit Pope. In fact, this Pope represents Marxism, environmentalism, the new world order, global government, sustainable development, the Jesuit agenda, unity of faiths, a global constitution, a global court, and a departure from Catholic traditions.  He is surely a harbinger of a global religion.
 
13)  Globalism went on overdrive thanks to Barack Obama, the United Nations, Pope Francis, and a consortium of worldwide Leftists.  John Lennon, who "imagined" all of this decades ago, would be proud!
 
14)  The push to make cash illegal intensified in 2015. The move to a cashless society won't happen overnight.  Instead, it is being implemented very slowly and systematically in a series of incremental steps.  All over the planet, governments are starting to place restrictions on the use of cash for security reasons.  
 
15)  Israel's Temple Mount has been a focal point for turmoil this year.  With stage-setting for fulfillment of Bible prophecy during this Church Age winding up, it should be of no surprise that there has been tension on Mount Moriah. That may be the most contested 35 acres on the planet.
 
16)  This was the year Bible prophecy was mocked and attacked more than ever! Believers in our "blessed hope" were called "End-time Eddies and Esthers." While this has always existed, now more and more prominent teachers are telling us not to waste our time on doom and gloom.  
 
17)   Liberal, Godless Europe imploded. Leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel lost their minds, put their people at huge risk as terrorists took advantage of the "refugee" situation, and have made Europe a time bomb. The Antichrist will take advantage of this as well.
 
18)  This was the year evangelicals began accepting the gay agenda and some asserted that Allah and Jehovah are the same. The voices from the religious Left encouraged this.  The great end-time falling away has much of the church going over a cliff with results that cannot be rectified.  Finding a solid church became a believer's biggest challenge in 2015.
 
......but, still... y'know..... Have a Happy New Year
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Before You Go Into Trucking as a Career.....

People often go into the trucking career, driving big rigs both locally and across the country, for various reasons of their own. You may be one of those people looking into the opportunity, but firstly, ask yourself a  question: How much do I really know about the process and what it involves before I go committing myself? Or you could ask: What are they, the schools and trucking companies involved, NOT telling me?

What I would like to do right here is inform you from the inside before you go making a major commitment of your life. You’ll thank me - believe it. Let me just give you a taste of what you are told about trucking versus what the truth is that you will find. I have nothing to sell you, so don’t take a sideways glance at this information. I’m going to be straight with you as we lift the cover of advertising and by-pass the “I’m sorry that’s our policy” philosophies of trucking employees.

As an example, one of the things you are told about trucking, driving for a company, is that you will be paid per mile, and they quote all sorts of prices like “25 cents a mile” and upward. Which sounds nice until you discover that the pay is actually between zip codes. So let’s say for instance, you drive 2000 miles at .25 cents a mile, that would give you around $500 bucks for one trip. Do this twice a week and you have $1,000 a week. However, the miles themselves are only counted from zip code to zip code. What this means is that you might drive a few miles into the local area code to make a delivery, and you won’t receive a penny for those miles. The industry knows it’s a rip off, but they all do it, and they are not going to change. That is the sort of thing I’ll talk about here, so if you are interested, have a look further, and I’ll talk more about those things you aren’t paid for while you are working.

So, let’s say you want to go to a school to pick up training for a new career in trucking. Going on Youtube can be helpful as there are many schools that post classes about what you will learn in such schools. Just keep in mind that schools are often NOT like a college campus or the inside of a college classroom as you might see in those videos. They can be nothing more than a group of small, linked together trailers, like those you would see in a trailer park, where almost 50 students are crammed into one area with only tables and chairs. For some reason, despite the large number of students who go through trucking schools, the schools themselves can be rather “thread bare”.

This may make no difference to you as your own life situation has you on the skids, or you are over 50 yrs old and finding it hard to get work, but if you are used to a bit more physical comfort when attending school, then you might find yourself a bit put off. Are they just too upside down on their own costs of operating? Hard to say, but just remember that when they promise you a free breakfast and lunch while attending school, the breakfast can be a donut and coffee. The lunch is a small cold sandwich and a bag of chips with water. It’s difficult for me to say just why this situation exists, but you need to know it before you go into school thinking you will be taken care of while you are there.

The hotels offered during your stay can leave much to be desired. They aren’t the Marriott, they are more like the no-tell motel. They will offer a free breakfast that can be a tasteless buffet which is often cold. I do suppose that this is better than a donut and coffee - oh and by the way, that is a small 8 oz coffee which they only offer once, and with that box of donuts they order you can only have one donut to get your 6am or earlier start on a new day of trucking training.

Bring money. You simply can’t go to a trucking school with 20 bucks in your pocket. This is true even if you are being offered accommodations in the trucking terminal or a local hotel. You will be spending money over the long haul and if you run out too soon it could bring major problems. For instance, let’s say you are going out of state to a trucking school that takes two or three weeks of daily classes. You may have to stop taking your classes for several reasons and this will put you in school for much longer. In fact, with complications, school can go from two weeks to six weeks over night.

Do you have a class C license in your home state? You’ll have to stop school and go and get a class C in the school’s home state before you can ever get a class A in that state. Familiar with the DMV? You will live there. This could add many weeks onto your stay at the hotel or the terminal. Got enough money for that? Remember, you’ll have to quit your job to attend school.

Do you have a medical problem? Some folks go through the whole routine only to be turned away for diabetes, poor hearing, or even unpaid parking tickets. You’ll have to stop school, go back home, and pay those tickets. Got bus fare? You might need it for multiple trips.

There are many other reasons. If you are overweight, you’ll have to submit to sleep apnea testing in some cases, and the results will send you home - penniless and jobless. Trucking companies know how difficult this all is and they will want to put you under contract. (The contract does eventually end within a year, but you are committed until then) You’ll have to pay them for room and board and any school time you spend with them if you just up and quit after signing up.

Surprisingly, there are MANY very heavy people who go into trucking. Some of them are 300 to 400 pounds and it is surprising how they even manage to pass a physical. However, a lot of them do, but sadly, once a trucker is on the road, there are fewer and fewer of over weight people to run into on the road. The life is a hard one, and being overweight can make it just too much for most to handle. Personally, I would not suggest that an overweight person go into this career and drop their whole lives just to discover that their body will not allow them to perform correctly. It can be very physically demanding - don’t take that statement lightly.

Hey, here’s something you might not consider: beer. You like beer? Whiskey? Trucking companies have a no tolerance policy for drinking. They can call you at any time to go and take a DOT (Department of transportation) exam and if you have alcohol in your blood stream, you are fired. You can’t drink at all, unless you are on home time. Marijuana stays with you for weeks. Consider that. Mary Jane? You’re fired. No more school for you either, and the medical tests happen in the first three days. Need a second medical test done? That’s 100 bucks or more out of your own pocket.

Speaking of being fired, if you are driving your own car and get a ticket, ANY ticket. You can be fired. You’re not even driving the truck. Recruiters are there to bring you into the company, not to help turn you away, and those contracts that they get you involved with ensure the back side of the recruitment job, at least for a time. They won’t tell you everything. They lie like rugs. Remember that.

When you’re in the school you’ll have to learn several new cache’s of information. There are repeated tests on subjects like parts of the truck engine, parts of the truck and trailer and the resulting caution you must take to ensure that everything is as it is supposed to be. When it comes to certain DOT (Department of Transportation) requirements, these items can get you shut down and not earning any money if you are stopped while driving and are proven to have violations. Too many of those DOT violations and you’ll be called in on the carpet. Dealing with the DOT is serious business, they don’t play games.

You’ll also need to know how brakes work and the six individual brake tests you must perform for the teachers, and possibly for the DMV. This depends a lot of who is doing the testing, the school or the DMV. DMV testing can be ridiculously tedious, so it is better to have teachers in the school perform this test, however, you may have no choice.

Another note on the DMV, and medical issues. DMV may require a separate doctor to sign a certain part of your medical test in addition to your school’s medical exam. This means your doctor may be out of state in your home town, or maybe you don’t have medical insurance anymore because you quit your job to go to school. Well, you might feel good about Obama-care being available to you, but what you don’t know is that those appointments can set you back six weeks. Got money to wait six weeks? Got bills to pay?

That’s the government for you. Can you get your own doctor’s appointment, if you have insurance, for over night? Probably not, probably only within two to three weeks. So much for your two weeks of school. Hope you have enough money to live on. And a local mail box, because the government likes to send you a letter in the mail telling you when your appointment will be. Are you back home to receive it? There goes more money for renting a local mail box.

The school I am familiar with had students learning to drive in the second week. Maybe you have driven a gear shift before, in a car or similar vehicle. The ten gear and eight gear 18 wheeler can be a mighty challenge. It can be like learning to drive all over again. Some people adapt quickly, but most do not. Trucks you drive at the school have been around for forty years and they have the untrained student scars to prove it. Keep in mind that if you have trouble driving a manual transmission, that you’ll be doing it for about 9 or 10 or 11 hours a day if you make it all the way to being hired.

That’s right, truckers who drive alone must drive about 10 to 11 hours a day, and then they have to sit and rest somewhere for ten hours before they can drive again. Team drivers can be driving for 9, 10 or 11 hours on one shift. If you have a night time shift, you’ll have to deal with fighting driving fatigue and sleep. When driving a truck, all you’ll do in life is drive, sleep, drive, sleep. There is no such thing as driving two hours and then letting the co-driver drive for two hours. So on and so on. When he’s driving, you need to be sleeping, and visa versa.

Have a nice night sleeping in the middle of the day while your co-driver drops and locks trailers, stops and starts the brakes, has his own lunch and parks in noisy areas. When the load is not a long one, you’ll cat nap for most of the trip because there is always something to assist with in the middle of the night (your day) when putting the truck into a tight spot or pre-tripping for continued travel. The person in the sleeper always loses sleep time, and yet you need to be up and alert when you are driving so that you don’t kill someone.

Manual transmissions take a lot of purposeful concentration for a time before the movements become second nature. This can wear you out fast, especially when you consider how you could easily kill another human being simply because you had a brain fade moment at the wheel due to your having to hold total concentration in order to shift over and over as you drive. And it has happened. (You could also fall asleep.)

So you’ll probably need chemicals. Do you like chemicals? Like having to get your body to be in a certain condition everyday for the job at hand? (not necessarily true for everyone) Some 5 hour energy caffeine shots work very well, and then to get to sleep you’ll need something un-habit forming (schools don’t recommend this, but you’ll need it), especially if you are having to drive teams and you’re trying to sleep in a sleeper compartment while a truck is moving. If you have never felt a full bladder in your lower gut responding to the vibrations caused by a truck as it is in motion, especially when you are trying to sleep, well you haven’t lived. Just imagine a bag of water on your car hood while you rev the engine. (And I have yet to mention the task of brushing your teeth on the highway at dawn) Something called a “piss bottle” will become common place.

Because of the way the business works, it can be difficult to get any exercise. Despite how rigorous the work can be, and it gets quite physical at times. Some people manage a little workout time with small dumbbells in the cab, or maybe you can go for a walk. But exercise is hard to come by and to keep a regimen with when schedules can change overnight. Health suffers, but you have to keep yourself awake and thinking because you are driving a death machine at 65 miles an hour for long stretches of time.

Schools and companies are often on the same page when it comes to drivers who owe child support. Much of the time, not always, but most times, a company will set up your monetary payments with mandatory payments toward child support being extracted even before you have seen penny one. This can be tough on you financially because you may already have debts to pay for, or maybe rents are too high where you live. Whatever the case, you will pay out those payments even if you have nothing left after wards, no matter how much income you produce. There is no getting around this. You’ll live in a truck while your kids and or your ex get all of your income.

Many times you’ll be on the road for four weeks with only four days off for personal time. Some schedules are 20 days out with 10 days off. There are also dedicated routes which run the same way over and over each week and you might get a day and a half break between runs. But, the bottom line is that if there are friends and family that you are used to seeing regularly, you will no longer will be able to, plain and simple. You will now be gone from their lives. Got a concert or a movie you want to see? It can be almost impossible to work the schedule for it.

If given a team situation, you’ll be expected to roll that truck 24/7 whether you are in shape to do so or not. Getting sleep and keeping it in the “bank” will be tantamount, and often you will feel that you do nothing but sleep and drive. Which can be tough since, you may have no chance to get up out of bed, have some coffee, maybe a little breakfast and even take a shower. Nope. You get up, you start driving most of the time. You end your shift, you might as well get some sleep. Over and over again.

Life on the road is filled with truck stops, which are set up to be helpful. They often have showers, with towels and soap, and toilets, of course. They’ll have redeem points for building up purchasing power for other items (loyalty points) and after a time one can buy expensive electronics at the truck stop with only the acquired points. Showers can be earned as well by points, and stops like Love’s, TA and Petro are open and available all times of the day for such personal hygiene. There can be problems with this system, however.

Much as I hate to say it, truckers are known for living like slobs. Not only can the tractor cab quickly turn into a garbage can on wheels, but your co-driver can become quite the Neanderthal with a lack of personal hygiene. Truckers sometimes go for more than a week without a bath or shower. (I know one who went for a month with only two showers) They live and sleep in their own filth. If you are their co-driver then you will live in it as well.

The human body stinks, plain and simple. When not washed continually, the odor can build up to stomach turning levels. How do you force a man to wash? You can’t. This is more common than not, so be prepared to smell your co-driver in ways you never considered before, all in a small 8X12 truck cabin.

When dealing with a co-driver, you are dealing with the general public most times. If you have ever worked a job at all, you know that many times you are forced by employment to work with other people with whom you have nothing in common, in fact you may never have ever been friends or even acquaintances with the other person in your entire life. You are at the mercy of a coin flip in the choice of co-driver and this can make the 24 hour a day “marriage” with a complete stranger a true adventure in human sociology.

Ever live with an obsessive compulsive neat freak or slob? They don’t change just for you. How about one who has a sexual addiction? Would you like to have to spend time outside of the cab at a truck stop or restaurant on a regular basis while he has sexual relations in the sleeper? It can happen. It doesn’t have to be that drastic, the person could have bad allergies..... or be incompetent.... or have any number of personal ticks and quirks which can drive you up a wall. But you live with them at three feet away day after day. You might get lucky and have a great driver combo come your way, but you have to consider who and why people become truckers.


Speaking of sex. You'd be surprised how many times truckers are approached by women who want to join you in the cab. They want to "keep you company". They show up almost anywhere, too. They can come knocking on your door in the middle of the night out on the highway while you are parked on an off ramp. You could also be in a dark parking lot awaiting a shipment, and they will be there. Whether you take them up on the offer or not, is up to you, but there will always be a request for money. Be prepared for that.

Companies will hire people who have just served time in jail, among other personal histories and traits. Once in that cab, you’re married.

So how’s the money?

Keeping in mind that you drive an 18 wheeler, you drop trailers, you hook up trailers, you get trailers and tractors repaired, you fill out email reports on your activities, you constantly file the information on each bill of lading, you get stuck with other people’s repairs and incompetence in operating the business, you check the engine and trailer and tires constantly, you have to plan trips, you have to make arrangements with other drivers on exchanges and such, you have to swap out trailers in tight spots. What do you get paid for?

Driving. Driving with a load is all you get paid for no matter how else your spend time. Hours of arranging trailers and drop and lock will steal your time for no pay. You need to be driving between area codes or you get no money. Squat!


(Not everyone does this, some give you less pay for non-loads)

 

In the beginning you might get two to three loads a week, and the average money might be 600 dollars. Maybe. A year later you might be making about .38 cents a mile, but then all this driving takes time as well, so maybe you get two loads a week. That’s maybe a $1,000 dollars a week. Dedicated runs (same trip each week) are available, and they promise $4500 a week. You’ll be more under the gun and you only get a day and a half off each week, but it is more money than you will be paid while driving all over the country and having to deal with new situations each day.

Hazmat qualifications are also offered but the increase in pay is all hype. $4500 more a year just for Hazmat certification is hardly worth the day to day hassle and scrutiny you will be under if you have Hammad. The rules and routes are tight and police love to inspect you if you have the placards. It’s my own opinion, but when they say 4500 dollars a year is a massive increase for having Hazmat, they are hoping you fall for that. $20,000 a year is a massive pay increase. Trucking companies are guilty of much “car sales” techniques. If you don't get your hazmat certification before the first anniversary of your CDL, then you'll have to take ALL the tests over again to obtain it.

Eating well is a constant problem on the road. Healthy eating is hard to come by, and paying for food everyday gets expensive. A microwave is a good idea, but needs to be installed by the truck company. This can cost about $200-$300 dollars and takes a special power inverter which can cost about $300 bucks. A small 12V stove can be bought to keep in the truck, but you’ll have to eat lots of canned foods. Walmart and the 99 cents store will be your best buddies. Companies offer discounts through Walmart and they are a big part of the trucking system, as much as any truck stop which makes money in the millions due to 24 hours traffic.

You might think you’ll be seeing a lot of the country, but you’ll see mostly the highways. There really isn’t all that much that is special about America’s highways, even route 66 was closed down back in the 1970‘s. Interstates like the 94, 80 and 40 will become familiar territory as you truck across the country, and they are actually the better part of the whole driving experience. It’s the little US highways that cross through small town America with multiple stop lights and signs and speed traps that get to you the most. And small intersections can reek havoc on your driving nerves as you attempt to pull this long snake-like vehicle through a tight curve or roundabout.

Schools prefer that you NOT use GPS guides for the driving from destination to destination and they have good reason for this. GPS can often be wrong and lead you into a bad area, mostly due to changing conditions and a slow up-grade of information. The east cost can be riddled with low bridges that will wreck your trailer at 13‘6“ and this will put you out of work for a while. Another reason is that schools want no liability from telling you to use a GPS which will at times take your eyes off of the road. (Truck companies are full of crap, GPS is your best buddy on the road if you don't just blindly follow it)

The Rand McNally GPS for trucking is exceptional, however, and once gotten used to can be invaluable. It can plan an entire trip and then prompt you throughout the trip about what turns to take and where to go next. Now and then you’ll find yourself in a tight spot, but it happens infrequently. Rand McNally GPS can cost about $400.00 for a nice one. It’s very worth it.

Schools want you to use the hard copy physical maps and write down all your exits and routes and such. This can be done well enough, but is a lot more tedious and time consuming. Even large maps can also be hard to read without a magnifying glass, and it’s a lot of unnecessary work. The Trucker GPS is a great primary, with the back up being the hard book. Especially if you want to take the loops around major cities. This is important since city traffic can kill your work day and steal money from you. Most big cities have a loop but the GPS will not take you there.

Every now and then the company will require you to do city work. This is where you pick up trailers and move them from point A to point B within a city. They will pay you $15.00 dollars for this. Yes, 15 dollars. Small truck yards can be a major hassle to get in and out of and you’ll spend all your time parking and dropping and locking and re-setting just for 15 dollars.

Companies like Conway and Amazon are very tough and strict in their requirements and can be hard to deal with when working on their lots. Amazon will kick you off of the property if you are there too long, even if you are doing the paper work for their job. Conway (XPO) makes you legally commit to all sorts of aspects of the job by forcing their own “macro” or email on the Qualcomm system.

Qualcomm is an electronic records system that computerizes the truckers schedule and activities. Without it, you’ll have to keep log books the old fashioned way by drawing lots of lines and adding all sorts of hours and miles and so on. But, remember, you only get paid for driving.


Different companies offer different opportunities and pay but you have to be careful that it isn't all smoke and mirrors. A company may promise a $7,500 sign on bonus, but it only comes in parts and is contingent on you completing this or that requirement in order to get that bonus. Other companies tell you they start at 41 cents a mile but that is only for trips under 500 miles. This may be on a graduating scale as well, but the up shot of it is that the smaller the trip the higher the pay, which may or may not work out the way you would hope.

At this time, I think I will stop for now. I will continue to add things to this post as they come up, but for now I wanted to get this out there just in case some people who are thinking about this move would like more inside information. Good luck, and remember one has to stay with this kind of work to see it pay off in the long run.


Update: 11/12/2016

Now that my association with trucking has come to an end, I have several things to add and comment on. For one thing, there is very little money to be made in trucking unless you have certain conditions present or you are a driver who has been around for 30 years. In your first year you may make around 15K and then the next year maybe about 7K more than that. I spoke to many truckers over my tenure who told me they were proud of making .42 cents a mile after 15 years or so of duty. That is NOTHING! For all the risk you endure and the time away from home, you might as well go work for Macy's department store, or McDonalds for that amount of money. Only the old guys, who run cross country and haul for about 25-30 years are really making any money. There are, of course, exceptions everywhere, but you HAVE to be one of them to make any money here.


The company I dealt with is known as CRST Expedited, and while they changed their policy about not paying anything for driving without a load, the rest of it is pretty bad. Other companies dread CRST, they have little respect for them and consider this company a laughing stock. Even DOT officers will tell you that they are the top of the heap for violation points and whenever there is an accident with one of their trucks it is mandatory that they appear to do an inspection. This is not so for all trucking companies.


From what I saw, they will hire anyone, even 350 pound men and women who can't possibly pass a medical exam, but still manage to be out on the road as a driving heart attack just waiting to happen. Considering that this is one of the most unhealthy jobs I have ever been acquainted with, showers only once or twice a week, no exercise except when performing the usual tasks, you just might become physically ill just doing your job.


It's an unhealthy and filthy way to live, not to mention that driving across the country for weeks at a time keeps you away from your loved ones, and forces you to live up close and personal with a person (co-driver) which you have never met before and probably would never even be friends with.


Good luck to you if you want to go into this business. I hope you don't accidentally kill someone on the road. The problem is, I saw so much bad driving over a year and a half, that you'd be super lucky not to have some nutjob driver run into YOU. And then it's over for both of you, even if you walk away. I am sincerely glad that this nightmare is finally over, and I wish all people stuckin  unprofitable trucking good luck with going into some other field.    

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Driving for Uber with a Lease Agreement

Driving for Uber with a Lease Agreement


Having known a few persons who drive for private taxi service Uber, I was interested to know just what was some of the inside information on becoming an Uber driver with a lease agreement. I had, of course, seen all the YouTube videos by those who DO drive for Uber, and I had also heard the horror stories of surprise surge rates charged to unwitting passengers who happened to be calling for an Uber ride at the worst possible times, so I was intrigued to check this “opportunity” out for myself. Not being in a position to use my own car, and seriously, who wants to run up tons of milage on their own car while bringing down the net worth or re-sale value of the vehicle, just to provide a place for the inebriated to toss their cookies, I decided I would venture forward and discover what becoming an Uber driver with a lease agreement involved.

Uber chooses certain car dealerships to join in agreement over terms and such, as far as what they will and won’t allow in the agreements for drivers. They begin with a meeting they offer at the chosen dealership where they have a rather short display of what the offer is all about for those interested. It’s important to understand that not all dealerships are on the list of Uber dealers and if you call a dealership that has nothing to do with Uber, all on your own, they will ignore what you have to say in favor of making their own point to sell you something. So, about thirty to forty people were at the meeting I was involved in, and no one was allowed to ask questions until after the presentation, a wily move on Uber’s part, for you never know if you have some wise guy like me who is really a spy writing internet reviews.

The group is briefly told certain statistics such as, it’s possible to make about $1200.00 a week driving for Uber after all the costs are deducted. The lease will probably be around $118.00 A WEEK. ($472.00 a month) Gas may cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $180.00 a month and Uber only takes about 20% of each paycheck. There is also a phone ($40.00/month) which is provided for receiving calls for Uber service from those who set up the app on phone or computer. Milage on the car is estimated at around 40,000 a year, and this is an important statistic, especially for leases. It’s important because it is NOT ONLY an estimate of milage, it is also an un-crossable margin. More on this in a bit.

Given the nature of this business one would indeed expect a requirement of insurance coverage. Uber has it’s own coverage, which is a million dollar policy. It’s important to understand how this policy works. It only works as long as the app is turned on, once turned off, the insurance no longer covers the car. As a result, insurance must be gotten from a provider who carries comprehensive and collision. The companies I checked out offered this type of coverage for about $200-$300 a month, even in the case of commercial insurance. But this subject is a major sticking point. More on this in a bit.

I live about 15 miles from the chosen dealership where the meetings are held and I called for an Uber ride to get a first hand account. My ride out to the dealership cost me $75.00 dollars and my ride home cost me $50.00, simply because of the different times of day. This may seem rather equitable compared to a Taxi, but I could have done the whole thing for much, much less. I have a real problem with paying $125.00 dollars for a ride anywhere. The ride was nice, the cars were nice, and the Uber drivers where very knowledgeable about the company, but they both related that a person only makes about $500 dollars a week free and clear and for the trouble you go through it’s really only side line change, nothing you could make a living from. They both owned their own cars, so I didn’t mention the fact that they actually lost money on the value of their cars with every Uber driving day. That didn’t seem the right thing to say at the time.

Uber and the dealership require $1,000.00 down (security deposit but refundable if contract is rejected) to put together a contract for the leasing which they will show you AFTERWARDS. Not all cars that are offered will be available, and you may have to either wait a month or so for the one you want or take what they have then and there. Considering the milage on something like a Toyota Prius hybrid, which I am told gets about 400 miles to a tank of gas, then it would seem that gas costs will be totally handle-able, and the testimony of the Uber drivers I spoke with corroborate that idea. Of course, some kind of gas discount card always helps with these sorts of things. 

So let’s take a look at the agreement for leases, which is probably much more problematic than the one for car owners. Remember how I said earlier that the lease would probably be about $118.00 dollars a week ($472.00/month)? The lease I was shown was for a Toyota Prius which MSRP’ed at $23,000. The amount was $234.68/week ($938.72/month). That’s a 52 month lease which comes out to somewhere around  $49,000.00 dollars on a car which will have over 160,000 miles on it, not to mention wear and tear, tires, constant oil changes and a requirement to keep the car in spick and span shape for operation on both the inside and outside. You’ll be washing her weekly, if not more. Keep in mind, you have now put up $1,000.00 dollars to find this and up coming information which will force a struggle within you to accept or reject.

If you sign your lease, and for a myriad of reasons find yourself in default, it will cost you $600.00 dollars in penalties, all under contract. So let’s say you have an accident and you are injured and the car can’t run. The contract is suddenly voided, and you owe $600.00 to the lessor. Or how about this scenario: You have driven the car for ten months of the first year, you have gone over 40,000 miles, you now are in violation of the contract and your agreement is voided. $600.00 from you, all under contract. Or let’s say you have only driven 39,999 miles. You must stop for two months and can make no more money on the Uber driving business because if you do, then you void the contract. At this point you must pay for all the contractual costs of the lease some other way. Oh, yes, you will pay pay pay!

For federal Income tax purposes, you, the driver, cannot be considered the owner of the vehicle. The vehicle can only be used for Uber business, and any other use may constitute violation of the contract. So if you drove 39,999 miles in 10 months, then she must sit for two months. You the lessee have full control of the vehicle, but none of the rights to the vehicle. Rights of the vehicle belong to the lessor. The weekly payments may also include a contract management fee, which was waived on my own agreement. Who knows what that could be for someone else? There is also an early termination fee if you pay off the lease agreement ahead of time, which begins at $1,000 dollars for the first year and then drops $250.00 for each subsequent year.

Let’s go back to the aforementioned point of getting into an accident. Only the Lessor, the people you are paying for use of the car, can choose where and how the car will be repaired, YOU must pay for all repairs not covered by insurance, and if the app is not working when the accident happens, then you are not covered by Uber. Insurance is really the big problem here. The contract requires that you carry the comprehensive and collision insurance in conjunction with the Uber insurance. It also requires you to have the insurance company state that they understand that the vehicle will be used for livery service. 

The problem here is that NO ONE will insure Uber cars. At least not where I live they won’t. Some states DO have this coverage, but they are few and far between. If you are an Uber driver in a state where insurance companies will not cover Uber drivers, then you are in violation of the contract even if you have insurance because part of the contract is this notification of livery use. MANY of the drivers you may come across have NOT told their insurance company what the car is used for and therefore, they not only have NO insurance (which they are paying for anyway), but no contract as well. They also pay higher rates for the higher milage use of the car. Get into an accident and you will have no income, no way to pay for repairs, no contract which now hits you up for early termination fees and one big, big headache. Let’s not even talk about being sued if someone gets killed or severely injured. Sign a lease contract under this arrangement and buddy, you are living on borrowed time. (How about this one: if Uber’s insurance suddenly becomes invalid, then your insurance is also invalid.) And by the way, the agreement names the lease company as sole loss payee. Which means you get NOTHING.

In the event of a total loss of the car, and if the leasing company provides insurance in lieu of you matching the Uber insurance with your own, then at that point you owe them for everything for the remaining term of the lease minus the insurance coverage payments. Therefore, if their insurance, which they have provided for you won’t cover the cost of total loss AND the agreement: you pay for that.

As a lessee you waive all rights to: 1) Cancel the lease, yes, that’s right, once you sign the lease you can’t cancel for any reason. 2) Reject the vehicle you have received. The car they give you, is the car you’ll have to live with. 3) Revoke your acceptance of the car. This seems logical, but I suppose there are indeed some tricky people out there who have to be prepared for if you are writing up a lease agreement. 4) Recover any damages from the lease company if they don’t keep their part of the agreement. They can change their minds, but you can’t and it’s all under contract which protects them and gives you nothing. 5) Grant a security interest in the vehicle to a third party. Some Uber people who own their cars do this, and they take their own 20% out of your check along with the Uber 20%, but if they are leasing, they have voided the contract. 6) Deduction of lease payments from the damages incurred if “screwed” by the leasing company.

Are you still reading?

Okay then. No one else can drive the car when driving on a lease for Uber. Contract violation. In fact, unauthorized use can be reported to the police by the leasing company. (This includes non-Uber use by the lessee. Of course, this is standard even for rental cars.) You can’t transport any kind of controlled substance, which means you may have to leave the medicine at home or: contract violation. If someone else drives your car, and the leasing company finds out, they can repo the vehicle and you pay the costs of re-posession, plus termination fees and so on. You waive the right to any hearing you may have a right cause for, surrender is non-conditional. (Milage charges at this point, or any point may apply). All costs of license and registration are on you and must be taken care of immediately or: contract violation. You don’t own the car, but you must pay for everything as though you do. Do you really want to pay almost $50,000 dollars for a $23,000 dollar car with about 200,000 miles on it after four and a half years? But wait!!!! Uber will let you buy the car for a dollar! How nice of them. 

Now let’s talk taxes. Let’s say the government approaches the leasing company about paying for taxes on the car they own but YOU operate. The lease agreement requires YOU to re-imburse the leasing company for anything they may be charged with. This includes: levies, imposts, duties, charges, assessments, fees, withholdings or PENALTIES (yes, if the government penalizes them for something they messed up on..... YOU pay for that.) Titling, registration, documentation, leasing fees and taxes, sales tax, use tax, personal property tax, valorem tax, state, county, municipal, excise taxes and any and all other kinds of taxes and or penalties levied by the government to the leasing company. YOU pay for that. Sign up now!!! They don’t have any responsibilities to set the legal record straight as far as making sure all requirements are covered, even though they own the car you drive. If you don’t take care of their business properly: contract violation. The definition of whether or not you have sufficiently met all requirements belongs to them. You pay for that.

They also have the right to take money directly from your paycheck to pay for anything they deem necessary because the lease gives them full power of attorney to decide when and what you will pay for in the course of driving for Uber with their property. That sounds kind of logical, but it is also completely at their soul discretion to manipulate at any time your income. Literally, you can’t plan on any consistent level of pay as it may change regularly due to their legal influence.

You also agree to hold them harmless as a result of any problems they cause you by incompetence or under directive of satisfying their own position. You can’t sue them if they make you go broke by charging you for anything and everything. They can make you pay for more than the original estimation of costs, and if you can’t drive the car, say because you reached your yearly milage limit, and can’t make any more money until the next contractual year, it doesn’t matter. Pay up or go into default. You have no legal recourse. Even bankruptcy will not relieve you of paying for the default costs, in fact if you do file for bankruptcy, that constitutes a default.

There’s NOOoooooooo EEEsssccaaaaaaappppeeeeeee!!!!!!

The indemnity clause continues to cement the undeniable intractability of the agreement. Not only is the lessor held harmless and “un-sueable” for any and all costs of  a breech in the contract, but the obligation survives the termination of the lease. When a contract shifts liability to the lessee for any and all problems arising from direct or indirect involvement of the lessee and away from the lessor, this could include ANYTHING that arises. When one is driving around in traffic on a daily basis, the list of possibilities is endless. 

Let’s take a look at what we have so far. 

What we were told by UBER:        What actually happens:

$1,200.00 a week. ($4800.00)                                $500.00 a week ($2,000)/mo
$180.00  a week for gas. ($720.00)                        $180.00 a week  ($720.00)/mo
$118.00 a week for the lease ($472.00)                  $235.00 a week  ($940.00)/mo
$10.00 a week for phone ($40.00)                         $10.00 a week ($40.00)/mo
$129.00 a month for insurance                               $129.00 a month for insurance 
Profit
$3439.00 w/o other costs                                      $171.00 w/o other costs

Figures for the second column come from my interviews with actual Uber drivers. Those figures are estimates, not actual proofs. But realistically, the amount of money to be made is much less than what is promoted and whatever your actual figures, you may find that the amount of liability you sign your life away for is simply not worth the cost. When I look at the lease agreement I can only consider that the people who wrote it up are so painfully aware of the extreme high risk of the situation that they structured the agreement like a predator loan. 

Who would sign this? People in the high income brackets who have an established income? Nope. People who are just looking to learn the city and meet new people? Nope. Only those in need of extra income, and perhaps living on the financial edge would even consider this kind of agreement. Think about it. Not even the insurance companies want to join their own coverage to UBER. Only someone not in their right mind would go for this deal knowing all this information. 

Which is one of the reasons I felt compelled to write the column today. Driving for Uber with a Lease Agreement is a high wire act with no net below it. You want to do it, you’ll need your own car to run up mileage and use on the automobile, or else go for this insane lease agreement. But, if you do, just remember: slavery was abolished a long time ago. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

American Radio Network



American Radio Network

About ten years ago, I moved to Los Angeles from another state in the south for an offer of employment. Almost instantly, and rather coincidentally, America went to war with Iraq. Suddenly, after moving my entire life across the country, I found myself without the job I had been promised because the person who had hired me had been called out of his reserve position to serve in the conflict. I don’t know much more about what happened on that side of it, so I can’t elucidate on the specifics. Los Angeles being the town that it is, it took me almost seven months to find something, anything to start bringing in some money.

In the meantime, I saw an ad in a newspaper here for American Radio Network (this was before I realized what a rag this news source was) which was listed in the employment section. Keep that in mind, the fact that it was listed in the employment section is a key point to this whole event. This ad basically advertises that it is looking for radio DJ’s to host its syndicated talk shows. Anyone in the L.A. area is quite familiar with the make-up of this ad and has seen it in numerous locations. I thought, since I had an interest in radio when I was young, that I would look into the opportunity.

I went to a place on Sunset Boulevard that was on the corner and provided scarce parking, no surprise to Angelenos. The place was OLD looking, the couches and rugs and interior all looked to be over 20 years old and perhaps had just about as much use and layers of dirt as twenty plus years will provide. I did what anyone else will tell you who has gone through this, and there are plenty of places all over the net to check out the public experience with this company. You SHOULD check that out if you have any real sense of the bull stink that is handed out to the public.

The main room in the interior was full of people who were all “forced” to watch a film on the history of radio and especially one painful story about a man who was royally screwed by the system even though he is considered the father of the medium. This was very uncomfortable to sit through and I remember wanting to bolt during every minute of it. But, to be brief, I was made to sit through a Saturday three hour meeting presided over by one Tony Lewis, (who is a bit of a used car salesman but that’s not too important right now) that went on and on about what could be done in the radio business and then everyone was told to come back the next day, on Sunday, to finish the presentation. While there on Saturday, we were given the chance to “record” our voice for a possible radio commercial to see if we would qualify for the program. Needless to say, despite my lack of voice over training at the time, I was accepted. 

Sunday I had to sit through more sales pitch and then halfway through we were told that: “No one here receives a pay check.” They then went on to explain how there would be contracts, fees for studio use and possibly, I am not sure of this, we would be given the right to have a press pass - for a fee. Naturally, I was very disappointed that this was indeed NOT an employment opportunity despite what their ad placement implied, but this was in fact a school. 

At the end of the meeting everyone was given a contract to fill out and then told to come up to the front of the room to turn in their contracts and then leave through the back door. I was the only one who turned the other way and went out of the back door as everyone else lined up. Once in the hallway, the blonde lady who works the desk (who must be related in some way to Mr. Lewis) asked me to go back inside. I told her I wasn’t interested and she threatened that I would not be refunded my $40.00 I paid for attending the meetings if I did not return. I told her no and she abruptly disregarded me. It was quite rude, and it would only be the first time she’d do this.

Over the years, I would use my experience there as an example to people in conversation about the kind of lunacy one runs into in the Los Angeles area. For I have seen this business format over and over again: you pay us and we give you work. Over the past ten years, I have gone on in life and this was also way before Hubie Goode and this blog, so I had never had the chance to include this in the kind of reviews I do here. So, I decided I would now investigate the situation once again for this blog, some ten years later.     

I saw the ad on Craigslist and then I contacted them, but only received an email responder that went something like this:

Here is the information you requested.
We are the producers of a  radio magazine since 1968 and carry radio programs such as National Lampoon True Facts among other nationally syndicated radio programs. We started in New York and now have offices in the west coast. We currently need radio Announcers/DJs to host/produce music, talk, interview radio shows for our radio stations. Many openings are now available. Fantastic benefits. No experience is necessary and these shows can be done in your spare time. Work is available part time or full time. You can work as an independent producer and earn up to $200 or more per show or as an employee at $15.00/hour. For audition information call (323)468-0082 in LA or (714)991-1966 in  Irvine Ca.

Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. All applicants will be considered.

We are an equal opportunity employer


Walking in to the building once again was like traveling into a time tunnel. The lobby was still dark and had the exact same couches and outlay that were there ten years ago. (!) In fact, the blonde lady I mentioned above was still there behind the desk, now a died red head. The processes were exactly the same except for the meeting days being split up from a full weekend to Wednesday and Saturday. The interior room was still the same, the movie playing on the TV (which was one of those old style big screen TV’s with the large blue-green-red projectors from like 1985) was also the same. This time, however, the room was NOT full as it had been ten years ago.

There were a few people, about 15 I would say, and several of them got up and left during the meeting presentation. Tony Lewis, still brunette, was also still there. The presentation was still pretty much the same, but I did not have to put up $40.00 for the first half of the meeting. We did, however, all get to go and record our voices for the commercial, a Paradise Wine spot, and amazingly, it was with the same out of date equipment. 

The fact that nothing had been updated really amazed me. Not only were there no pop filters on the mic, but one got the impression that cassette tapes were still the main tool of operation in the company. Cassette tapes??? Others have said in their reviews that they did not believe anything was being recorded in the booths, and from what I saw, I became convinced of this. 

So I performed a little experiment, I skipped the Paradise Wine commercial and used a made up mess of crap I came up with on the spot for the recording. (I knew about the contracts, and I would not be signing up for ANY contracts that require me to make commission money to pay for a fee. That’s just crazy.) And guess what? My audition was accepted. There were no complaints about my not following the script. Heh.

Well, when I called them for the results of my audition, I was told about the now $98 dollars that had to be paid up front and the contracts that would be necessary. The first meeting had said nothing of this, but I was told on the phone that it had been mentioned. Not so. Needless to say, I did not go any further with this. The now red headed lady, who is now working by herself as apposed to the time ten years ago when she had employees, was just as rude and snippy as she had always been, and I smiled as I wondered how anyone can do this sort of job for ten years, or more. 

Anyhow, let me just say that both of my experiences with American Radio Network and also with the written reviews of other people have led me to several conclusions about what this business really is. This is really “Tony Lewis” radio. It looks to me to be an independent business which is actually a school. All they talk about is giving one 8 weeks or so of training (hopefully with someone qualified) and then the “student” has to either be a teacher, an announcer or an independent contractor (one with a contract that legally requires you to pay the studio even if you make no money from commission radio advertising. And trust me, commission sales is an up and down roller coaster).

It seems to me if you do what a school does, then you are a school. However, if you claim not to be a school, then you have no regulatory requirements. No requirements means teachers don’t have to be qualified, they can be anyone. You are told in the meetings, that the training consists of learning 12 buttons on the radio equipment and it’s real easy. They need teachers and two months for this training. 

The classes for button learning have a fee, as does the future 15 minute radio show you will do with your own music, playing sometime in the early morning hours (so you can make all of your mistakes). You’ll make up part of this money from advertising for your 15 minute show which is also rated in such a way that it eats up any money you might make and you might end up with about $9.00 dollars for all your trouble. This is all contractually obligated.

Once you become an independent contractor, I can only see things getting worse as you are required to make money from people who are independent businesses that might or might not want to advertise on your radio show. You have to be able to sell it, because not everyone will be able to afford the rates, and if you look around town, you’ll notice how many companies are NOT on radio advertising. 

It’s just like the grocery store. Next time you go shopping, notice how many products DON’T have a TV commercial, and yet they are still selling. Is it any wonder radio is overrun with car ads? I have dealt with Mom and Pop stores as far as attempting to solicit their cooperation with a much needed service, and in another blog one day I will be reviewing that business as well.  I have to tell you, business has such a small window for advertising that it can’t even afford to properly service monetary transactions for their customers. 

Good luck getting locked into a contract that requires you to pay a fee out of commission advertising when Tony Lewis radio is really just a one man operation which makes its lion share of revenue off of a schooling system which denies it is a school.

Other people have much more to say about the veracity of making a “rookie go” in radio inside of a major market and whether or not American Radio Network is a scam or not. Look around the net, you’ll see their comments EVERYWHERE. But is it a scam? No, I don’t think that it would have lasted this long if it was one. It’s basically a business model. They play fast and loose with the definitions of school and opportunity as do many here in this town. 

The promise is for employment, but as I have said before with advertising: What could happen and what does happen can be two different things. Unfortunately, for those who get involved with American Radio Network's Tony Lewis Radio, your money is not as ethereal. 

They would never take payment in a form that may or may not be real money, but that is what they expect YOU to accept, namely: Pay for an opportunity that may or may not happen. (I already have enough trouble with my own student loans.) Considering the anachronistic nature of how the business is run, you would be wise to give them a pass in favor of an actual broadcasting school (because American Radio Network really is an unregulated school). 

Sure, what they promise can happen, and has happened to someone, somewhere.... but you will "BUY" the future..... under contract.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Writing for Guardian Liberty Voice


There is an online magazine called Guardian Liberty Voice which aspires to become a major player in the online blogger/magazine universe. Indeed, their efforts have produced a modicum of success as they are listed in the higher end of the online “newspapers” now dappling the internet. They, like many of their ilk, are an online zine composed by others who write in a freelance fashion for the website in an attempt to gather more readers, and also to take advantage of whatever revenue can be attained by attaching Guardian Liberty Voice to Google Adsense and possibly, Google Adwords.

I decided that I would take the paper up on its offer to join them as a writer and see just what the inner workings of this company would entail for the aspiring writer. The operation is run by an entrepreneur who has a high ranking degree and even introduces himself to his audience in a live video presentation over the internet. He spells out his company’s history and current position quite well and is impressive in his personal presentation. Obviously a person of high accomplishment and also individual drive, he is looking for like minded persons whom “just love to write” and would consider writing for his magazine online and perhaps even getting some form of renumeration in the process. 

At first, I liked the whole idea, being a long time blogger myself, and I got involved in the next phase which was a week long “boot camp” for training in the process of writing for the internet magazine. According to them, the key was to follow a code provided on Google which pointed the writer toward the trends of the day, which would provide subject matter for writing. They also would accept those who wished to report on local sports and entertainment events as a correspondent. The boot camp was to last a week, and the volume needed to be produced was at least seven articles of over 500 words which had to be ACCEPTED for publication. Without this litmus being passed, one would not be accepted.

I immediately ran into problems on two fronts. Firstly, when asked what kind of commitment level I would like to join at, I chose the possibility of writing one or two articles a week, which is really all I have time for completing. Considering what it takes to not only write the articles I already produce and then editing them and correcting the myriad of mistakes that happen while “stream of consciousness” writing, there is quite a bit of time taken up in simply making sure that the final product does not confuse or even bore the reader. There is much to consider for each post, and this takes more time than one would at first imagine. The prospect of churning out seven articles in the span of a week, while spending time in boot camp classes each day, which ran for maybe three hours each, was a tall order if one has other responsibilities. I had informed them that I was only able to do one or two articles a week, so the boot camp strategy of “finding out what you can handle” failed on this point for myself. (If you are not available during the day, you must pay for the classes that happen at night.)  

My second problem was that I was unable to find an internet or Wifi connection which didn’t make the three hours plus of class time a major effort to keep up with. The connection was horrendous, and I had to drive here and there to see if I could find a place to be involved with these classes where I didn’t have to suffer through connection break-ups on a ten minute a piece basis. This was arduous to say the least. I never did solve this problem. I attended all of the classes despite these troubles.

The process teaches the aspiring blogger to follow a pattern for writing articles which was created within a text generator program which the writer would pull up online and either type directly into or else paste into from another text generation program. Once inside of the program the writer was guided and trained to follow the set up presentation as per the prescription set forward by the program for gaining the best benefit as per what Google “robots” or “spiders” are looking for in an article. This process was not too difficult to learn and I have kept a lot of what I have learned for my own blog with some results, but not great results.

Google news has a list of items which are trending on the net, and according to Guardian Liberty Voice, these are the things you must concentrate on when writing. This includes things such as World news, United States news, sports, entertainment and several others which fit into the “code word” for what is going to bring in the readers to the site. According to these folks, one must write on what is trending, for there is no money in writing customized posts. I have to agree with this, as one who has blogged for over five years now. 

I have personally taken two individual turns with utilizing Google Adsense and also Google Adwords, and I cannot recommend either one. They simply have never shown me that they work, even when I have attached them to my Youtube account and produced videos. Of course, the young teen who makes funny faces and has a million hits in one week, who just bought her first car with Adsense profits will tell you different, but that is not my testimony. And after trying Guardian Liberty Voice, it still isn’t. 

I wrote five articles for Guardian Liberty Voice before I was unceremoniously cautioned to do no more writing. “Please,” they told me. “”Don’t turn in another article. Obviously you have not attended the classes we hold to prepare you for this.”

“Is that so? Well, you must know something about the week I spent straining to keep connected to your website boot camp, while churning out five articles with no time left in my day that I am just not aware of.” I told them. This did not receive a response.

You, the reader, can see these articles here on my site from the month of April beginning with my movie review of the latest Captain America film from Disney/Marvel and counting the next five articles. All formatted from the squirrley program provided from boot camp, they are mostly as required for optimal Google response, with a few hitches here and there, due to the rush I was forced into by time and tide. These articles should have provided a big jump in response from Google robots due to their formatting, but in actuality, they only provided a minimal bump for the time that they were trending on Google news. Being squeezed for time as it was, I was forced to go into my back log of posts to see if I could cannibalize some information in order to make their deadline, and unfortunately, I write in the first person for you, the reader, and not in the third person. This was a brick wall to run into on a tight deadline and derailed the entire process as it was difficult to re-write an entire article in the third person with no time left for production and editing.

Interestingly enough, the articles which were accepted have not done as well as the one which was not accepted. The article about Fort Hood and Bill Clinton and Blood Moons and Buffalo, is the top performer among those articles and it was the one rejected by the editors of Guardian Liberty Voice. I love theory as much as the next person, but either something actually does work, doesn’t work, or it only sometimes works, and trying to hire people to write for you under auspices that you have a system figured out and ready to “cash cow” as it were, is just selling. Selling is about as real and valuable as Monopoly money.

As far as responses go, I expected much more from a program that claims it knows what will bring in the Adsense cash for articles. It didn’t work, and one of the reasons Guardian Liberty Voice always needs writers is because they need to multiply a small response from Google by the thousands in order for them to make any headway on profit with Google Adsense. This is my educated guess, I didn’t look into their coffers personally, but I go with experience. 

It can be a real struggle to find something on a weekly basis, much more on a daily basis to write about which fits into the format of only those things trending. I write here about things few others are willing to write on, and consequently I make nothing from it, but I do consider it a public service. It’s alarming to find that if I suddenly went populist, I might make about twenty cents more with Google Adsense. I found the process of subject matter writing as per the parochial requirements set forth to be stultifying and just plain annoying. This holds true especially in light of the fact that I made NOTHING from the articles they did post on their site, and only a small bump in attention on my own Google charts here on this site. I like to write, but I like to write for my own motives and pleasures, and hopefully, people out there will benefit. I’ll make money somewhere else.

One other thing that did crop up over and over during the boot camp classes was the objections of those who were involved. There are quite a few people who are against using photos from the internet to place them on an article in the hopes of bringing in more readership. Photographers should indeed be duly umbraged as there is no payment forth coming for their work which is used in this commercial way. Recently, Gene Simmons of Kiss, complained about the death of Rock music due to file sharing on the internet and the destruction of the financial base for the music industry. He is correct, and this also applies for many other industries involved in the creative process. This ranges from plagiarism, to copyright infringement and beyond. Billions of dollars have been lost on the internet simply because of the loss of access controls in many, many industries. But that is another post, for another time. 

I would suppose that if you are a person who loves to take assignment writing on the current trends, and you don’t mind small amounts of money in return, and maybe you don’t have a lot to do all day, then Guardian Liberty Voice would be a good place to spend time writing and working. I can’t suggest that you do so based upon my own experiences there, for it seems that the magazine will benefit to a greater degree than any individual writer ever will using their system. Try it if you must, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. I would always recommend to anyone that they do a Google search on any business' reputation before you ever put yourself out there. Just keep in mind that commission sales are all about promises, not reality. What CAN happen doesn’t necessarily translate into what DOES happen.   

Escape The Hezbollah