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, 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 
$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.   

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are You Thinking About Platinum?

Back in the year 1751, a Swedish chemist coined the phrase “white gold” in relation to platinum. There is so little of it that has been mined throughout history that the total amount might fill something the size of your two car garage. If you know anything about platinum, then you know that in the very, very near future it will be one of the most sought after metals of all those mined today. But, you may ask, why is platinum becoming more of a valued metal today than it has been since its heyday back in the 1700's? The answer here is multi-faceted in its connection to today’s market.

For one thing, there is a production shortage in South Africa, the main source of most of platinum production, and conversely, automobile manufacturing has become wholly dependent on platinum for many aspects of car production. Total platinum extraction is also one of the smallest quantities of any metal on the planet. Extractions per year are about .07% of total gold and .01% of the total amount of silver. It takes about ten tons of raw material to produce an ounce of platinum. South Africa has about 90% of the platinum reserves, and the mining conditions remind one of a subterranean entrance to Hell itself.

Last January the workers in the mines there went on strike and cost the mining companies about 18 billion in the local exchange (1.7 billion for USD). This strike created a loss of about 1.2 million per ounce. No one comes out a winner in this sort of stand off between workers and management. Things have gotten underway in the interim, but the financial conditions of the mining companies could not be more imperiled.

At a cost of $1600 for production of a single ounce, platinum is priced below the cost of production. Eventually, platinum prices will have to rise. This makes no difference to you if you can’t afford the current price of $1500 per ounce, but if you could squeeze something out in order to get in on the wave before it hits, you may find it to be worth it in the long run.

In the nation of India today, there is a “craze” happening in the world of platinum fine jewelry. The climb has come so fast and hard that demand is forecasted to be at around a 65% increase by the years end. 

Catalytic converters for the automobile are wholly dependent upon platinum in their production. 25% of all platinum use on a world wide scale is due to the need of converters for the world’s increasing dependence upon mechanical mobility. It’s a $7 billion dollar market. Anti-pollution standards are making the market move in pre-determined ways that are bankable. The demand is two fold in its make up on both the consumer side and also the ecological side.

One is well aware of the conditions in China considering bicycle riding. We’ve all seen the photos of huge sections of the population all riding in one direction on a cavalcade of two and three wheelers. China itself, however, is experiencing an expansion of the middle class, even as America “povert-izes” its own citizenry. By the year 2022, China will have about 300 million “well off” Chinese citizens, according to estimates by those who prepare these kinds of things. Odds are, they will all be giving their bikes to their kids and acquiring some higher end transportation in the form of automobiles and other means of transport.

The United States has about one car per every person in the country, in 2012 China’s ratio was at about 1 to 85. During the coming years, as China becomes more affluent, the growth rate for auto usage looks something like over 9,000%. Government requirements demand a converter on every new car purchased in China. Last May, the sales for cars in China surpassed 1.5 million units in one month. That’s a surge that’s got legs to it. 300 million nouveau riche Chinese will need converters for their new cars and those converters will require MORE platinum. It will take 203 million ounces of platinum to meet that demand.  

Platinum could easily appreciate to around $6,000 an ounce from its current $1500/ounce. If you own even a small amount, you could have a “little monster” in less than ten years. We could see a 17% jump in the price by the end of the year giving a price mark at about $1700/ounce. So far, the rise in price for platinum has been due to the supply constraints and the unrest in mining facilities, but with an additional placement of demand, the spike could be enormous. To regain its cost of capitol, the mining companies will need the price to rise to about $3,000/ounce by the middle of 2015, so taking a wait and see attitude may only be a small window of afford-ability.

If you are thinking about platinum, just keep in mind the rising tide of Chinese affluence and the demands of emissions control combining to effect the overall price. Of course, if you could buy a platinum mine all for yourself, that would be ideal.     

Monday, July 28, 2014

Resident Manager Class with The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles

The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles has a class that they hold on a revolving basis which claims to inform students who attend of all they need for becoming a resident manager for apartment buildings, multiple family living situations and other forms of rental living which stay within certain recognized norms. The class runs for a few days each week for the length of about six weeks. For anyone interested in the workings of this industry, the class is very informative.

As I have stated in the past posts, I have been looking into so called business opportunities for those attempting to survive this falling American economy and also those who are looking to create multiple streams of income or perhaps adjust their living situation to match the hardship that most of the country is now experiencing. I have seen quite a few of these so called opportunities over the years, and most.... well, all of them seem constructed to make money for those who sell the program, not for those who work the program, whatever that program may be. 

The AAGLA holds this class in a straight forward and forthright manner, seemingly free of any guile or want for harm to the finances of their participants, and therefore, I wanted to investigate this path direction for those who may be interested. I found NO information ahead of time about complaints of “rip off” type filings by others who have come and gone through this system, so I went ahead and tried it myself. 

Last October, I signed up for the six week class to become a resident manager and I had to take time off from work and miss some pay in order to make this thing happen. The class cost $400.00 dollars and the AAGLA requires payment up front. The class is held in a “meeting” type room in a building not too far from the downtown area of Greater Los Angeles and I have to tell you, the area is less than desirable. Repeatedly, we students were admonished to lock the doors on the bottom level in the parking lot when we had all entered the building. Otherwise, we were told, we might all get shot from some intruder who might happen along one night. The parking lot is fenced in and seemed protected from the street, but the instructor was not convinced of our safety despite this.

In a rather large meeting room of tables and chairs, the class consisted of about 25 students, all from different parts of the city and all having different ages. Some of the students had already been involved in the industry and knew a thing or two about the subjects discussed. On this one six week stretch the AAGLA made $10,000 dollars plus an additional potential $2,500 (which I’ll discuss in a moment) from the proceedings. That’s a pretty good take for the process and this class is repeated more than a few times each year.

The class begins with a very kindly, and genial gentleman instructor who holds all but a few of the classes through the entire course. He’s quite the engaging speaker and story teller. And, OH! what a story teller. There were many times I felt as if I were in the presence of “Grandpa” as we all sat and listened to stories from his past, mostly from the business of managing apartments, but unfortunately not ALL from this work, which he had done for quite some time since early in his twenties. He certainly knew a lot about the process, and I had no doubts about his experience and abilities.

Subjects covered, when we weren’t being regaled with “when I was your age” type personal stories, were: How to work with owners, competing for good tenants (Yes, YOU must compete for the good ones, since there are many nightmares), choosing tenants, screening and collecting, creating a community in the complex, record keeping and evictions. We also covered the fair housing laws, the forms used and also the correct way to go about tenant relations. Also, safety and security, changing rental agreements, security deposits and their deadlines.

Common tasks and functions such as complex safety, cleaning, rent collections, dealing with vendors, showing and marketing the apartments, maintenance (a word about this in a moment), and tenant screening were all covered in one way or another over the course of the first few weeks, but not without the “entertaining” side of story telling of our host. If you have no patience for this sort of presentation, you may want to enroll somewhere else for this training where they will simply lay it all out for you and stick more closely to the relevant points of the class for which you have paid $400 dollars and for which you are also spending six weeks in an evening class attending. Those classes may also be shorter, and also less expensive.

We were also referred to books such as “Landlord Lingo” (tenant law) and “California Evictions”. It was during this period of the class that I became aware of the rather insane practice of the California court system to protect those who have less legal rights than the persons who are actually working within the system correctly. Let me just give you a brief idea of what I mean by that. Many people here in Los Angeles have rotten credit for various reasons, and many building owners will not rent to them because of this credit. Which makes sense since bad credit usually means someone cannot pay their bills for whatever reason. 

Therefore, many of those folks will go looking for a roommate situation in which they can share an apartment based upon an agreement between persons living in the unit. They can’t be put on the lease, but they can stay and pay as a “guest” of the master tenant. NEVER DO THIS. Never let someone be a roomie off of the lease, because they LEGALLY can stop paying the rent, and YOU can’t make them continue. The courts will back them up and not you. If you get a roomie who is paying YOU and not the landlord, then YOU are his/her landlord. You must take care of them as though you were the legal landlord, but just for them. You will not win in court if you are taken advantage of by someone who is really a “freeloader” and you will have to pay for whatever costs they incur from non payment or damage to the apartment - all backed by the court. In fact, if you leave and they are still there, they have legal right to stay as the tenant, even though they never signed on to the lease. Only the sheriff can come and drag them away, but only after all legal recourse has been taken to solve the situation. NIGHTMARE!

We also leaned about something called “premises liability lawyers”. These are lawyers whose sole purpose is to sue apartment owners for anything that might constitute possible litigable events. Due to this, attorneys have a hard time finding apartments. Managers are tough on them even if they have never sued a complex. Many of the suits placed are about death incidents, injuries or even rapes. Whatever the case, there are professional wolves out there looking to make a manager’s job the worst he has ever had.

In this industry, pets are a major problem. Insurance companies may cancel on a complex for allowing pets. Tenants can actually get bitten by a flea, be allergic, and then sue the complex owner for their trouble. Usually, if a complex has ONE dog, it has all animals sooner or later. People who don’t like pets will move out and cause your occupancy to be less that 100%, not the desired position for any manager. We were warned against having any pets at all simply due to the increased risk of being sued.

Other troubles with apartments included: People stealing your water if it is not locked off. This refers to folks from the surrounding area who come and hook up to your faucets to wash their cars and run up your water bill. Building codes which include subjects such as fire codes, magnet doors, extinguishers and escapes. Smoke detectors and where they should be placed. The trouble with double key dead bolt locks (double cylinder), which usually keep small kids inside of the unit, but these are illegal. Safety glass which must be able to shatter into small pieces if broken, these being used in shower doors and large plate glass windows. 

Swimming pools are also another major concern as no one wants to see a kid meet his untimely end in one of them. There are a dozen stipulations that must also be adhered to as well concerning pools, and at this point you should just know that you would be better off without them. The instructor suggests teaching the tenant’s kids how to swim if you have a pool. You should have heard this story of how a teacher once threw kids screaming and kicking into the deep end in order to give them a swimming lesson. 

Mental trauma aside and abuse lawsuits from parents not withstanding, "Grandpa" didn’t seem to mind this method of teaching. I don’t mean to be negative where this instructor is concerned, but there were several times where his ideas on dealing with kids in the complex raised a few eyebrows among us students. Not just throwing them in the deep end of the pool, but also keeping them in your place until parents come home from work in order to help them avoid the government taking the children away, and also having the kids clean up the complex by making a game for them to see who gets the most trash. He’s a great guy, an fine teacher, but I take issue with this kind of “loose cannon” type instruction when it comes to dealing with other people’s children.

There was a lot of time also spent on deciding what the agreements between yourself and the owner would be. Most folks who look into this type of work are looking to find a way to get free rent for their living place in exchange for the work they will be doing. Free rent isn’t always the best deal. Many of these owners will insist that you work for them with free rent, and then you’ll also have to go and get a second job to make any kind of cash money. When there is money involved, many times the minimum wage laws are violated and you will be taken advantage of.

As a manager you’ll often have weekend obligations and or be “on call” for the job at any time. When one is living on the property, it’s very difficult to get away from the constant call of 16  plus units who may have a rotating list of problems. Not to mention that there are few perfect tenants. Usually, there is always someone on the verge of being evicted.

Owners who interview you will want to know why you are looking for employment as a manager and you simply cannot tell them the wrong answer. They will ask if you drink or smoke, if you have family or if you are taking care of parents, and if you are bondable. Being bondable is a special position. You can’t have any criminal background, you have to show a competent credit record and your entire life will be reviewed by the bonding board. They will call up your second grade teacher, your old girlfriends from high school, your grandmother and they will look at all of your purchases recorded on your debit card for the last five years. Yes, they can do this. I haven’t even mentioned the part about drug testing. Well, I just did.  

You also have to know how to market your property. This means researching the surrounding competition and advertising for your own. You’ll take photos, place ads, tweet, YouTube and whatever else it requires to get vacancies filled, all the while dealing with the merry go round of people and mechanical problems at home. Vacancies are rarely tolerated by owners because they represent loss of cash flow. You’ll be a rental marketer as well as a manager, and if you are getting free rent but only minimum wage, you have to decide if this is really a thing you want to do. Of course, the instructor will tell you what a great idea it is because you will be protecting yourself against the cost of high rent, but there is so much more to consider.

We did also have another Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles instructor for a brief time, a very informative lady, who interestingly enough told us that when she was a resident manager, it was the worst job she had ever had. This was due mainly to the round robin of incredibly bad tenants she had to deal with, and she also told us a few stories. They are not for the faint of heart. The bottom line of her classes seems to be that one would be better off interning in a complex before ever committing to the full time job of resident manager so as to see just what the realities of the work entail. I agree fully.

Tenants love you as long as things go their way, she told us. Then they hate you when something bad happens. Discrimination was a big part of her class. Accordingly, this ugly monster still exists today with owners and managers refusing to rent to persons based upon ANYTHING other than the person or persons ability to pay the rent. 

She covered the ideas behind rent control before and after 1978, and the legal problems that come from a manager’s being fired for refusing to break the laws concerning rent control. I understood that there is a common practice of avoiding the rent control status if owners find that they can get away with this. Are you shaking your head wearily yet?  

Belive it or not, there are laws concerning square footage and the number of people who can live in a unit. If a family ends up having too many children over time, a manager is required to notify them that they are now in violation of the occupation standards. They could well lose their home just because they have too many babies. By the way, when speaking about tenant’s kids, a manger can never use the words “children” or “minor”, they must always be referred to as “person, occupant or resident”. This is due to their classification under tenant law. 

Are you ready to be a resident manager yet? Are ya????

When dealing with the handicapped, March 13, 1991 is the cut off date for receiving assistance from the government in order to get handicapped compliance. Any building built after this date must pay for their own compliance, and if modifications are made, then they become a part of the property even after the handicapped person leaves. If you have a handicapped person who requests accommodation, it is a violation of privacy laws to call their medical provider to ask for confirmation of handicapped need. You must trust the handicapped person’s judgment in relation to the accommodation that you must pay for. Nice, huh?

Okay, so I have said a lot about what is covered in the The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles resident manager class, and yet I have been only brief on the subjects covered. But, you might say, what happens now? Well, now you must buy a list they have provided for the purpose of finding those apartments you wish to find employment with. You aren’t required to do so, but they suggest it strongly. This list is a compiled listing from five different zip codes in the areas where you would like to work and comprises about 300 items. This list costs $100 dollars.

Now, you would be wrong to assume that this list is a list of available apartment manager job openings. You would be very wrong. I spent the better part of maybe two months making phone calls to these listings only to find that the “list” you are given is about 12 years old. Many of the companies I called were management companies themselves, which are listed for free all over the net, or they were numbers that had gone out of order, were the numbers of long standing managers who were shocked to hear from someone who had some kind of list.... or, and this is the sad one, a hand full of people who had suffered years of phone ringing abuse by people calling them looking for resident manager jobs which had nothing to do with the person’s private number. The numbers were just WRONG. Period. Let me just say at this point, I am not a resident manager some 9 months after taking the class, and I must have talked to about 250 people on the phone. Over and over and over again it was the same thing: “Sorry, we’re not looking for anyone at this time”. 

I did manage to get a few interviews, with people who were more curious than serious, and one in particular old gentleman who just wanted someone to talk to..... and TALK DOWN to, but the real interviews revealed something that seems obvious to even someone who is not involved. Mainly, like any other position, it does’nt matter how many resident manager classes you paid for, you have to have experience or they don’t want you. Even the Craig’s List ads for managers come straight out and state this: If you haven’t any experience, don’t call us!

A second point to make here is one about maintenance of the property. The class instructor casually informs the class that if you have never fixed anything, then you can just go to YouTube and watch a video and learn how to fix anything you might need in an apartment complex. When I mentioned this in my interviews I got chuckles and eye rolls as a response. That might make great sales chatter in a class room setting, but NO one else in a hiring position agrees with this. Plainly: you HAVE TO BE ABLE TO FIX THINGS YOURSELF. Owners don’t want to have to hire handy men from outside if they don’t have to, and the jobs that are available will go to those with experience.

Y’know...if you can find them.

Is this The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles class worth $400 dollars for education and information? Probably. There is a lot I learned which I could never have guessed on my own about resident manager work.

Will this class help you in finding employment? Probably not. Better to just get an internship and learn on the side. Save your money.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Staywell Research

Staywell Research

It wasn’t all that long ago that I saw a blog post on the internet, giving instructions to whomever reads it, directions in the development of what is called “multiple streams of income”. There are many suggestions for those who are struggling financially and looking to get some assistance. One of those suggestions is to engage yourself in a medical research trial. This kind of trial requires one to take a certain drug and or other type of pill, and perhaps some other form of trial application, and then after a hand full of months there is a compensation paid for the patient’s time and effort. One of these companies is named: Staywell Research.

I decided I would test this idea out, as one of several I will be reviewing over the next year, and I joined a trial. The ad for this trial on the local Craigslist stated that the trial would consist of a six month period with a “diet pill” test which would pay $500.00 with a $500.00 bonus if the person was still participating at the end of the trial. This would, of course, result in a $1,000.00 pay day for those involved. It’s important to note at this point that the ad makes mention of the total amount to be payed when the client is still present at the end of the tial. (Get your Orwell earphones working!)

In March of this year I joined the trial and was given a bottle of green pills which may or may not have been the real thing. The point, so I was told, was to use placebo pills in the tests to find out the ultimate result of whether or not the medical benefits actually worked. For myself, this had to do with weight loss. The pills themselves were actually appetite suppressants which were to be taken a half an hour before eating in order to discover the effects on my personal weight over the six months during usage. 

I was also given several diaries and charts to keep a record going of daily activities, these included what I had eaten each day, how much I had walked, walking everyday being the method of approved exercise in this case, and other things like my daily weight and such. I was also given a thing called “Fitbit” which records your every movement during the day and reports that to a website where one can also record the daily intake of food, water, and watch the number of steps that I took each day. I really like Fitbit, and I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in tracking themselves on a daily basis. I know there have been complaints in the news about people gaining weight with this thing, but I believe you have to get past the initial temptation to eat more than you should, because Fitbit makes you think about it a lot more than usual. Once I got past that, I was fine.

One is also required to make several visits to the Staywell Research offices and also to speak with a nutritionist on the phone about your progress during the study. There is a lot to do, and if done correctly, then one should be paid for their time and effort. Therefore, I spent a good three months of the trial giving the system a good work out. I tracked all of my water intake, changed the food listing for my daily intake, walked everyday, took the pills, filled out the paperwork and also made the five mile trip to have my measurements taken and my weight recorded. Amazingly, the trial worked! The appetite suppressant was very effective and combined with the huge amount of water I had to drink and all the walking I had to do, I lost almost 30 pounds. I sit here today typing, six weeks later and the weight has not come back. Did I drink and walk the weight off? Hmmmm, could be.

During one of these visits, I saw a man come into the office and try to get his compensation, he had been given the run around several times over the phone and had never received anything. A manager then met with him and when he left, he still had nothing. I kept this event in mind the entire time I continued. 

At the end of three months, I was told that the trial was over, and I was required to return Fitbit and my daily logs and the pills to the research center. I was also told that I would NOT be paid the money they owed me. I made an appointment with one of the managers to discuss the problem since it was not myself who had failed to complete the trial or had quit ahead of time. My position is that if the company says that at the end of the trial I am still on the project, then at that time, I will be compensated. Unfortunately, they play games with the definition of when things come to an end, and stick to the original ending date, which would have been some time in August, even if they, themselves, call an end to things. This is crapola of the highest degree.

I was told that because they had “over booked” the trial, they would have to let some of the participants go early and they would only be compensated for the visits they had completed. I had done five visits, but they insisted it was only four. It was not. I was only to receive $160 dollars instead of the $1,000.00 that the “bait and switch” style advertising had promised. No amount of the 45 minutes or so I spent arguing the case with the manager made any difference at all. According to him, they were continuing with the other people in the study and would not continue with me, which is odd, because I was actually making the thing work. Seems you “over book” because you expect a good number of people to do the study incorrectly or perhaps quit prematurely. So, therefore, you need me in the study in case that sort of thing still happens before the ending deadline. 

Regardless, the arrangement is for a certain amount to be paid at the end of the study no matter who ends it. If I quit ahead of time, then I can understand their position, I did not complete the study and therefore, I am not present at the end of it. However, if I am told the company is ending the study, then the study ends NOW, and I am still here and should be compensated. They did not, of course agree, and despite the ease with which they could do this sort of thing over and over with many people involved, they stood their ground. This is called: “Legally scamming the public”. 

If I were to join another study with any company like Staywell Research, I would insist that they sign a contract written up by myself stating that if the company ends the survey, then they have to pay in full. They will, of course, never sign something that states this, which means they are playing the loop hole and probably paying out to NO ONE the $1,000.00 pay day. Basically, they get to a point where they feel you have made the thing work, and they have all the info they need, and then they pull out on you and leave you with pocket change. There is very little evidence to prove that this is NOT the case.

There are many such complaints about Staywell Research on the internet and I would heed them and myself well if you feel you might be able to make some side money from this endeavor. I realize there will always be the person who will tell you that this has never happened to them and that they make a living doing this sort of thing, but that is not my testimony. I sit here with no payout from this company more than 35 days later and honestly, I expect to receive nothing. 

Be forewarned! 

editor's note: It is now 75 days since this project ended and I still have received nothing. 75 days being the deadline for paying this thing off.

Escape The Hezbollah