one-stop lending, PETA and more....

Sorry for the light blogging, I've had a rather busy week and haven't had a chance to sit down and pour out some thoughts.

I can only hope that the day will come when I don't have to write posts like this anymore, but I can't stress enough how important it is for consumers to know what they're buying. In terms of cash advances and payday loans, the market is so saturated with lending services that to borrow money so blindly can potentially put yourself at great risk. Not researching your lender is doing yourself a great disservice.

What I'm getting at is...there are many Web sites that offer fast cash options..but not all of them actually fund the money. Many of these sites work with brokers, who sell your information to other lenders. So...you're not really getting a loan from www.whatevergenericpaydayloansite.com but from whomever they've decided to sell your information to. Even worse, very sensitive information has been sold to another company. That sort of thing just can't be trusted.

Instead, choose a one-stop lending service. Who will fund your payday loan themselves. Sites like www.autocashusa.com, www.paycheckatm.com, www.usapaydaylenders.com, and www.titleandpaydayloans.com are all excellent examples of Web sites who are also the bank. You can trust that they won't sell your sensitive info to some unknown source.

One should always strive to really investigate the world around them, especially when we live in such a scheming shyster-filled world. I have a similar story, that's not directly related but just goes to show you how a little bit of research can reveal a lot.

As you may or may not know, I'm a die-hard vegan. The food, the clothes, everything in my life is as animal-friendly as possible. One day, a myspace friend posted a bulletin with link to the Web site, Peta Kills Animals. The site makes claims about how the radical animal rights organization (which I support) is actually a group of murdering liars who kill and mistreat animals.

I thought to myself...."this can't be true, can it?" It just doesn't make sense...and after doing just a little tiny bit of research I figure out that it really doesn't make sense. It's a farce. Peta Kills Animals is funded by the Center for Consumer Freedom. If you visit that site on Wikipedia (link included above) you would discover that it is a lobbying organization arguing against the dangers of smoking, the unhealthiness of red meat, and who fought to keep blood alcohol levels of drivers at 0.10 percent. They also argue that the obesity epidemic is a myth and that we actually are not the fattest most unhealthiest nation in the world.

Now...one might ask themselves, "how is any of this stuff relevant to their activism against PETA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Greenpeace and the Humane Society?" Just look at what Wikipedia writes about who finances the Center for Consumer Freedom.

CCF is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. nonprofit organization. As such it does not disclose the identity of its funders. However, some information is available from statements made by CCF and its funders, and on yearly IRS Form 990 filings.

Initial funding for the Guest Choice Network organization came from Philip Morris, with the initial donation of $600,000 followed by a $300,000 donation the following year. Philip Morris attorney Marty Barrington wrote in a 1996 internal company memorandum: "As of this writing, PM USA is still the only contributor, though Berman continues to promise others any day now." [27] By December, 1996, supporters included Alliance Gaming (slot machines), Anheuser-Busch (beer), Bruss Company (steaks and chops), Cargill Processed Meat Products, Davidoff (cigars), Harrah's (casinos), Overhill Farms (frozen foods), Philip Morris, and Standard Meat Company (steaks). The group's advisory panel comprised representatives from most of these companies, plus further representatives from the restaurant industry, Senator George McGovern, and Carl Vogt of law firm Fulbright & Jaworski[28]

In subsequent years, GCN acquired more donors, but was still largely funded by large corporations. The IRS Form 990 for the six-month period from July to December 1999 shows income for that period was $111,642, of which $105,000 came from six unnamed donors. Form 990s for the Center for Consumer Freedom are available for years 2002-2004 on the GuideStar website.[29][30][31] For the last available year, 2004, revenues were $3.6 million, while expenses reached $3.25 million.

By 2005 the group reported having over 1,000 individual supporters[9][3] and, according to Berman, about 100 corporate supporters[32] Other companies that have publicly acknowledged making donations to CCF include Coca-Cola; Wendy's; Tyson Foods; and Pilgrim's Pride.
So now we see who's really behind PetaKillsAnimals and argues that red meat is really quite good for you? The meat industry! Who's behind the arguments against the dangers of smoking? The cigarette industry?

That's just what it is...corporate lobbying to spread misinformation for their own financial benefit. Groups like PETA and MADD pose a threat to the meat and alcohol industry and they simply can't be trusted to dispense medical facts. I felt empowered after doing my research and had the knowledge to fight back that nonsense my soon to be ex myspace friend was talking.

The moral of the story is...always...no matter what you're buying or getting into...get on the internet and RESEARCH!



radio lab

I just discovered my new favorite thing. I've been a big fan of public radio programming for years and this love was only solidified during my four years at University, where I was a volunteer radio host/DJ in my spare time.

Yes...it's still cool to be a college radio DJ. In fact, I'd say its cooler now than ever. I wish I was still into radio and who knows? Maybe one day I'll crawl my way back in.

Until then I'll dream and listen to shows about... why I'm dreaming...why I'm sleeping, why I'm laughing. Why ants walk in a line. About the absurdity of zoos. About space and time. About science, life, culture and what makes everything tick.

It's called RADIO LAB. It's the science program I've always wanted, so easy to digest and so interesting that it leaves you wanting more. The production and writing is so smart and its absolutely fascinating. I urge you to download a podcast (very easy if you have iTunes) and give Radio Lab a try.


journalism 101...check your facts

A few others on the Blogosphere have caught this story and I thought I'd spread the word too.

I know one of the first things they teach you in Journalism schools is how important it is to check your facts. Fact checking is like...THE fundamental element to quality journalism and one would think that this is just common sense? Right? Journalists should strive to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.....right?

Well I know that's a load of baloney and unfortunately, The Sacramento Bee has made a great example of themselves. I say that's unfortunate because I have had, in the past, great sentiments for The Bee.

I'm disappointed that their reporter, Claudia Buck, didn't do her homework with her piece, "The Downturn: For many in military, finances are a battlefield"

Buck used everybody's favorite buzz word "predatory lending" to call out and blame payday loans for many of the financial problems that many members of the US military have been experiencing.

Well, Ms. Buck, you totally ignored the fact that, as of October 1, 2007, payday lenders do not lend to military personnel. I'd hate to assume that you deliberately ignored that fact when writing your piece so get your facts straight!

Read the story after the jump, above.