Authors Posts by Dave G.

Dave G.

I'm Dave. A no-frills, high quality cut-to-the-chase news writer that loves breaking news, political brouhaha and all the theatrics that come with living on Earth. I love Chinese food, paranormal activity and random road trips. Einsturzende Neubaten is great music for relaxing the soul.

I'm Dave. A no-frills, high quality cut-to-the-chase news writer that loves breaking news, political brouhaha and all the theatrics that come with living on Earth. I love Chinese food, paranormal activity and random road trips. Einsturzende Neubaten is great music for relaxing the soul.

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Have no political skills? No problem - just rig the polls.


A show of hands if a group of Democrats have ever shown up at your door to enumerate your thoughts on Trump, the economy, wars, and our border crisis. Anyone?

Come on. Surely someone out there has been phoned, emailed, or visited in person. Still no one?

Me neither. Chances are, you never will. Polling 77.1% of Americans currently over the age of 18 (2010 Census est.) would be too arduous of a task. So, the next best thing is to auto-dial a few dozen people in all 50 states to get their opinion. From there, assumptions can be drawn.

I’ll explain.

Polls Were Created by Democrats, Right?

It certainly seems possible. I mean, look at the all-star cast contributing to President Trump’s job approval rating – CNN, Washington Post, Economist, and their ilk. Not exactly the type of fan base that burgeons with Republican love.

Polls are easier to manipulate than a drugged hooker. All you need is a small sample size, a few “pointed” questions and a large media audience to convince. It is fairly common for CNN and their ilk to poll 1,500 people then refer to them as “most Americans”.

But what about the opinion of 250+ million people who were never polled? It rarely matters. Because in the eyes of the clueless Democrats, 1,500 people said Trump is doing a bad job – therefore, that’s how you feel.

How low must one political party go to control your thoughts? Polls are often low enough. Regardless if you, your family, extended friends network and half of Norther Montana love Republicans, it rarely matters. Democrats, the media they influence and other outlets backed by Democratic funds run American polls. But why?

Clueless people need some mechanism in place to make you believe they are not actually clueless. Polls are often the perfect opportunity for the manipulation of the truth.

How To Combat Poll Influence

First and foremost, look around at the obvious. Are people lining up and throwing bricks at Trump Tower? Are your coworkers suddenly appalled by the increase in take-home pay? Not many are.

See, Democrats have their own unique way of crying when things are not how they want them to be. So they claim that “President Trump is the worst president of our era” and make you believe Obama was the most admired.

How could you admire an individual that rammed healthcare down your throat, violating your constitutional freedom of choice?

Polls. They run your life, even when you think you are running it just fine. The best way to combat this negativity is to disavow it. Period.

This shutdown certainly proves otherwise.

Let us reshape the focus of a nation by following the truth as we know it.

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2018 was a wild ride for Bitcoin.

bitcoin technology

Since its introduction to the world in 2009, Bitcoin and Bitcoin technology have made serious waves in the finance industry. It has been called a game changer by many, as evinced by the myriad “offsprings” that came after it, such as Litecoin and Ethereum. Blockchain technology, on which Bitcoin is based, is finding more and more practical applications in spheres beyond the realm of finance – even after many predicted an inevitable bitcoin crash back in 2017.

While it was a paradigm shifter at the time, it’s important to realize that Bitcoin, popular though it may be, is based on rather old technology by modern standards. As such, there is room for improvement, and innovations to the technology crop up periodically.

The previously mentioned Ethereum, for example, has expanded on blockchain technology by creating smart contracts, which automatically form rules and conditions, enforce those rules, and eventually terminate themselves once all conditions have been met or a rule it established has been broken.

So what improvements in Bitcoin technology can we hope for in 2019?


One of the most major advances to come our way must be in the field of scalability. Scalability refers to the amount of transactions per second Bitcoin’s network can handle. Currently, Bitcoin stands at seven transactions per second.

bitcoin technology

This is pretty slow, especially when contrasted with Ripple, with its 1,500 transactions per second (it can permit much more too, up to 50,000). While it remains unlikely that the scalability problem will be entirely fixed in 2019, work is being done on improving the Lightning Network, which certainly promises to help alleviate it.


The second improvement in line for 2019 should be tokenization of assets. Tokenization refers to a data security measure through replacing sensitive or private information with a token (symbols like numbers or letters), which can then be used by a business as a “key” for said data.

This, among other things, offers better security against theft and fraud. It’s important to note that tokenization is different from tokenizing, which is the splitting of an asset into tokens. Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) is also an example of a similar innovation, a sort of Bitcoin/Ethereum hybrid token.

These upcoming improvements are likely just a fraction of what bitcoin technology has to offer in the forthcoming years, let alone the farther future.

Bitcoin Technology Will Amaze You in 2019

You can look at it like this. In 1973, Motorola created the first cellular phone. Upon its first years, many conjectures were made about what this revolutionary piece of technology will evolve into in the future.

However, practically nobody could have even imagined that cellphones would become the fantastical smart multi-purpose devices we consider quite ordinary today.

The same can be said of Bitcoin and blockchain, even all cryptocurrencies. Our speculations may be negative, cynical, or overwhelmingly positive, even radically so, but the truth is we can’t really be sure about the future of bitcoin technology. Only in time will we be able to see to what shores this ship is headed.

But that doesn’t mean it’s useless to theorize about where these pieces of tech are headed. And to do so, it’s vital that you be in the know about their intricacies. If you feel like finding out more about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, Bitcoinfy has an interesting infographic you should check out below:

bitcoin technology in 2019

There’s a lot to learn from it, like Bitcoin’s and blockchain’s history, how they operate, and various other insightful tidbits and stats, all laid out in a delightful artistic style that makes the information easy to digest and hard to forget.

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City departments, hospitals and shipping companies learned the hard way that ransomware will hold anyone’s data hostage. And smile while doing it.


Shortly after the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm finished swindling Microsoft Windows users out of billions in May 2017, the finger pointing game began. U.S. blamed North Korea, Twitter exploded with conspiracy theories, and everyone scrambled to secure their precious information using whatever methods seemed feasible.

But then an unfamiliar variant of Petya nailed 80 global companies in a politically-motivated attack meant to throttle the Ukraine. Analysts speculated this because ransomware normally allows the release of data after payment, yet Petya didn’t offer this luxury. The origination of the attack clearly implicated Ukrainian cybercriminals, was isolated to roughly 80% of Ukraine companies yet was vehemently denied as being ‘serious’ by Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov.

A false narrative stole billions by exploiting a vulnerability designed by the NSA. Sounds like some poorly scripted action film, but it’s true to form.

It gets scarier.

SamSam, first discovered in 2016, looks for unpatched server-side software to intrude. Once in, they’re able to lay waste to every Windows computer connected to the network, collecting sensitive data from companies before dumping another payload of ransom requests. Since 2015, SamSam has plundered major companies and wreaked havoc on cities like Atlanta to the tune of $5.9 million.

Nefarious code writers, using only their laptops and desire to hold data hostage, are coming for your digital assets. It’s one ubiquitous threat to multibillion dollar firms and small enterprises that can’t be ignored.

How ransomware distributes its payload

Low-level hackers use sketchy websites, email blasts and pay-per-install schemes to infect computers with ransomware. These methods aren’t nearly as effective since most of society’s computer users are more educated now than 10 years ago. But make no mistake – they still work.

Petya shoots straight toward the heart of PC’s – the master boot record (MBR). Once there, the cryptoworm will trigger a rewrite of Windows’ bootloader and initiate a computer restart. Once DOS has begun loading, the payload is dropped, encrypting the Master File Table of NTFS, which most Windows-based operating systems are partitioned with.

Throughout the ransom process, the user’s screen will look like CHKDSK (check disk) is running a series of drive sector repairs. Once the required Bitcoin payment is submitted, the ransomware will self-terminate. However, Posteo suspended the hacker’s email account for terms of service violations, meaning those who insisted on paying the ransom couldn’t send payment confirmation.

Petya was powerful enough to knock Chernobyl’s Nuclear Power Plant radiation monitor offline in 2017.

WannaCry was a short-lived yet highly lucrative cryptoworm that affected global computers running Microsoft Windows. Utilizing an exploit in older versions of Windows developed by the NSA and released by The Shadow Brokers dubbed ‘EternalBlue’, the ransomware encrypted data and demanded Bitcoin payment for its release. It worked in tandem with the DoublePulsar backdoor tool, although it was written to self-install as a failsafe.

Although Microsoft quickly patched the exploit in their flagship platform and developed a kill switch to avert further tragedy, 200,000 computers spanning 150 countries were affected, forcing countless businesses and consumers to pony up the requested payment.

Indeed, ransomware is one of society’s most widely disseminated forms of cryptovirology designed specifically to pervade our most valued possession: information. No industry is impervious to its destructive capabilities.

Ransomware targets many industries. Yes, even yours.

If you’re looking for reasons why small businesses can’t ignore cybersecurity, look at how the following industries have been victimized by ransomware over the last three years:


Not only did Atlanta endure their own $51,000 nightmare involving SamSam blocking access to court documents, but Baltimore’s 911 dispatch system was infected. Atlanta has since spent $2.6 million to secure their networks, computers and employ cybersecurity experts to help mitigate future attacks.

Farmington, New Mexico had their records processing and electronic bill payment system upended by ransomware, too. Also forced the City Hall in Springfield, Tennessee to fork over $1,000.

Utilities and Energy

Major utility providers, like Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) in Michigan, have seen their share of ransomware attacks. The BWL attack was propagated through email attachment, locking out employees with enterprise-level computers.

In April, the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Ministry website succumbed to a low-level ransomware attack which was quickly mitigated without paying the ransom fee.


Anonymous cyber extortionists bilked a remote Massachusetts school district out of $10,000 in bitcoin in May. The payment was made relatively quick to avoid excessive damage.

University College London, one of today’s most prestigious universities, was attacked in 2017. It’s unclear what the college paid, if anything, to secure their data.


Industry analysts concur that healthcare takes the brunt of ransomware attacks since personal data reaps thousands on black market .onion websites accessible by Tor. For example, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center forked over $17,000 back in February 2016.

Victims like the National Health Service hospitals in Scotland and England saw 70,000 connected devices, such as MRI scanners, theater equipment and blood containment refrigerators damaged to some degree by SamSam.


COSCO recently admitted ransomware crippled systems in several worldwide locations, including the United States. Free email addresses offered by Yahoo and Gmail were harvested.

NotPetya, an offshoot of the Petya cryptoworm, affected the world’s largest container shipper, Maersk. FedEx sustained damage from WannaCry, too.

In fact, every industry that owns connected devices such as tablets, computers, servers, scanners and highly technical machinery can fall victim to ransomware. If it uses an internet connection at any point, it’s game. Companies should explore all options available.

Companies can protect themselves. Immediately.

An ounce of prevention sure beats paying $50,000 in bitcoin. Unless you’re flush with cash and prepared to lose customer credit card information, sales data, an entire website and possibly the company itself, start by doing simple prep work, like:

  • Disconnecting all network computers from the internet when a significant speed drop is recognized.
  • Shutting down all devices when something seems afoul.
  • Creating backups which are offline and offsite.
  • Avoiding the use of default passwords (like Admin123)
  • Restricting access to Port 3389 (RDP)
  • Investing in cybersecurity.

The latter item is imperative. Sit back and ponder the time, money and effort expounded in building your company. If you’re not treating your business’s data safety needs with respect, don’t be shocked when others refuse to, either.

The end game? It’s about keeping connected networks and computers vital to your company’s data warehousing secure. Locked down. Surviving the algorithm of ransomware means keeping that algorithm from penetrating our defenses.

The Takeaway

Cybercriminals are cunning. They’re now concentrating their efforts on bitcoin, having created several variations of Petya capable of bilking millions in cryptocurrency in one swipe. Have they shied away from their thieving roots? No. In fact, attacks are happening to corporate servers as we speak.

Ransomware isn’t dying anytime soon, because as long as something of value is attainable, there will always be several rogue organizations gutsy enough to hold it hostage.

The threat of ransomware is real. What does your company stand to lose if ransomware took over your network?

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survival rate of mesothelioma

The survival rate of mesothelioma is measured in increments of one, five and ten years, depending on which type. For example, the survival rate of peritoneal mesothelioma at 1 year averages 38%. At the 5-year mark, it drops to 10%, with the expected survival rate at 10 years being 4%.

How doctors arrive at these figures depends on numerous factors, although age and overall health prior to and after diagnosis is important in formulating time lines of survival.

Why the survival rate of mesothelioma is important to know

Patients who’ve been diagnosed with either epithelial or peritoneal mesothelioma often contracted their cancerous conditions from:

  • Excessive exposure to asbestos
  • Work in coal mines
  • Other circumstances unknown or determined through testing

Because this type of lung cancer requires an aggressive plan to treat, it’s understandable that people want to know their survival chances. Moreover, to get the compensation mesothelioma victims deserve, attorneys may want to know the mesothelioma survival rates to determine how quickly to work on cases.

Also, individuals may entertain planning their last will and testament should their diagnoses drastically lower life expectancy.

Peritoneal mesothelioma survival rate

Formed within the tissue of the peritoneum, peritoneal mesothelioma is extremely serious, and may quickly advance stages if treatment isn’t started immediately. Because it’s the second most common type of mesothelioma, the survival rate is expected to not last longer than several years.

Heated chemotherapy and surgery are the most effective ways of mitigating this cancer type before it spreads.

A specialist’s quality of care and experience also factors in the survival rate of mesothelioma related to the peritoneum.

Epithelial mesothelioma survival rate

The most studied and great prognoses of all mesothelioma types makes cancer of the epithelioid easiest to gauge survival rates of.

Between 50% and 70% of all mesothelioma cancer cases involve mutated epithelial cells, which are found in several spots within our anatomy. It’s important to act quickly when this type of cancer is detected because while there are more studies done on this mesothelioma type, it’s also the quickest to spread to other areas, like the heart and other vital organs.

The survival rates are 50% at 2 years, and 42% at 3 years. Those with the much rarer sarcomatoid mesothelioma aren’t expected to live past 25 months.

How to increase mesothelioma survival rate

Simple things can be done to improve the survival rate of mesothelioma cancer.

  • Try and avoid working where excessive asbestos could be present. Should this type of work be necessary, protect your mouth, skin and other exposed body parts to avoid the potential for mesothelioma down the road.
  • Maintain a healthy diet as prescribed by your physician.
  • Take all medications as prescribed by physician.
  • Avoid anything which may further damage lungs, such as smoking or drug use.
  • Try various cannabidiol supplements to slow progression of mesothelioma.

Remember, at 10 years, only 4 out of 100 are expected to survive. Learn more about this cancer, the different types and what others are doing to prevent the progression of cancer to survive longer.

If you’re wanting to contribute something about the survival rate of mesothelioma in your family, sound off or drop us an email today.

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life insurance

Yes, life insurance will cover cancer whether it’s in remission, currently being treated or is considered terminal. After your initial examination, many companies will offer guaranteed issue policies that cover death from cancer if terminal. It’s the most expensive policy, paying out smaller amounts ($5,000 to $50,000) than traditional ones. Companies that offer term or whole life insurance policies offer patients with preexisting conditions the opportunity to purchase life insurance even with cancer, but expect much higher premiums to be paid in exchange for guaranteed payout upon death.

Purchasing your first life insurance policy is undoubtedly scary, especially with so many companies being thrown at you simultaneously. When it comes to cancer coverage, the number of companies willing to extend ‘cancer policies’ thins out drastically.

Life coverage should always be discussed, planned and purchased as early as possible in life. However, we cannot predict where or when we’ll end up with cancer. Therefore, if you’ve already been diagnosed and want protection for your funeral expenses, unpaid bills and to help set your loved ones up, buying life coverage after cancer is discovered is better than having no coverage.

Does life insurance cover death from cancer?

Your cancer life insurance policy may cover death from cancer, provided the policy is guaranteed or cancer happened after the regular insurance policy was issued.

Agents, when taking preliminary information regarding your age, health condition, beneficiaries and other important details can provide information on policies they’re able to underwrite. Traditional policies will cover healthy individuals and those with preexisting illnesses that aren’t expected to lead to immediate death. Other policies are available to cover those in cancer remission, while options are limited to guaranteed policies for those with terminal cancer in all forms.

Upon death, life insurance policies payout according to their type and provisions written into the policy, such as whether cancer was detected prior to, or after, the deceased purchased the policy.

Life insurance coverage for cancer patients

Patients that are currently battling cancer can receive life insurance coverage, too.

Many ponder the future of their family after being diagnosed with cancer, leading them to research various insurance options. In all forms, cancer shouldn’t be taken lightly. As soon as you’ve been brought that terrible report, it’s time to take swift action. Part of that action plan should consist of getting yourself into treatment, and looking through many life indemnity options available for your age, financial needs and affordability.

Cancer patients, although they’re probably not thinking about their finances, should at least consider their coverage options before it’s too late.

Buying life insurance before cancer diagnosis

It’s suggested every working person in America purchase life coverage prior to any signs of illness. Not because it’s mandatory, but funeral expenses are increasing each year.

Prices are competitive as of today, July 22nd of 2018. Premiums can increase at any time, so check with your local insurance

Will life insurance payout for cancer patients that eventually pass away? Your life insurance can best answer that question.

Cancer life insurance companies

So many companies are offering comprehensive cancer life insurance plans for those shopping around, or wanting to switch from their current carrier.

Local agencies can help connect you to options based on budget, amount necessary to cover your bills and funeral expenses, current and past health condition, age and other factors. The important thing to remember is to always read the fine print. Hire an attorney to help if needed. Understand what you’re buying before signing paperwork. Some companies aren’t interested in your best interests, which is obvious in how their policies are written.

Remember, it’s normal to ask questions about the life coverage you seek.

Will life insurance cover cancer in your situation? Check out this PDF with some interesting cancer facts & figures for 2018, then contact a trusted agent local to you today.

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Writing is fun when it's effective.

inbound marketing

Inbound marketing isn’t the coolest thing since the floppy disk, but flavorful content is.

Only a short time ago, AM radio and newspapers delivered local and national advertisements for shave cream, sewing machines and sleek Model-A cars. Mom would listen to these sales messages during her morning routine, dad would find advertorials as he indulged in his morning paper, and businesses enjoyed steady growth thanks to the content delivered by these mediums.

This is 2018, buttercup. Newspapers and AM radio still exist, of course, but few actually care to indulge in such prehistoric intricacies. Grandpa has started using Facebook to keep up with his generation, grandma now bases her entire Sunday dinner off her Pinterest findings, and our eclectic youth are shopping just as much as their 40-something parents.

At the epicenter of today’s generational shift is content. Clean, concise content.

How one structures a fricking sentence could make or break bottom lines. It may cost one’s sales goals, too. Yes, folks, the placement of words in sentences can either obscure or elevate an entire marketing initiative.

The very action students loathed in high school has now become the content strategist’s best friend: writing. Let that fester for a few hours.

Content is everywhere. Presentation is everything.

Regardless which direction one’s religious or historical belief system leans, content is part of that system’s heritage. Content is the basis of the very world you exist in. In fact, there’s content in virtually everything you own; it may be presented in different ways, but it’s there.

Google, for one, algorithmically controls where unpaid content is placed within the gazillion different search results generated annually. Or, for a fee, a ‘teaser’ will show up atop all search results in your industry of choice. (You know what they say about teasing, right?)

Knowing this, companies and solopreneurs are faced with two choices: pay to play, or learn how to present content in such a manner that everyone salivates in anticipation of their next piece. True story.

Look, consumers are much smarter today than 14 years ago when Google decided to go public. The search giant will gladly take your marketing dollars, charge you umpteen thousands of dollars and produce shiny reports depicting a ‘successful’ campaign on their AdWords platform. But consumers are growing tired of seeing this crap. I mean, aren’t you?

Let’s look at this another way.

Problems arise when slamming thousands into paid advertisements because the ads often sound too desperate. It forces people to click and follow some senseless lead funnel designed to harvest personal information for later use. Which then, of course, sets your business up for a potential class action lawsuit since an actual business relationship must be established to appease CAN-SPAM laws regarding marketing calls and emails.

Pay-per-click may be a useful component of inbound marketing, but in today’s business ecosystem, it’s a fractional one at best. Broken down further, using paid ads as one’s main marketing venue was cool a decade ago. And, if we’re being super technical, one of the benchmarks for powerful marketing campaigns is one’s ability to execute inbound marketing campaigns.

Creative use of words is the ‘new cool’, which is being proven each day within Facebook and Twitter.

Content is the definition of inbound marketing

Imagine winning over customers without overspending, or having YouTube videos go viral. Maybe you’re more interested in establishing yourself or your company as an authoritative figurehead in your industry. Perhaps your boss is riding your ass about dropping your overall cost per acquisition to damn near pennies on the dollar.

You can be an inbound marketing stud with kick-ass content. A harsh reality, I know, but it’s one you needed to hear before you pissed away thousands more on useless 80-character ads. If you don’t believe me, find me one paid ad Justin Bieber put out in hopes of being discovered, then tell me how he was actually discovered.


I use this guy to present my case because his music represents how your content strategy should perform. He found the right social medium to deliver his musical message. The thousands that shared his works turned into millions of fans which resulted in that Usher guy putting him in contact with record producers.

Inbound marketing requires a cohesive plan of attack that encompasses all elements of our digital generation: social media, search engine marketing, blogging, and photo sharing. Content is an unavoidable component of every element listed above. Done right, words can literally change one’s perception of products and services they previously avoided.

Content can make you a Bieber overnight with the right direction.

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Our Intelligence was supposed to gather intelligence on Chinese intelligence. But it didn't end so intelligently.


Transmitting classified documents to China never won favors around the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, as former officer Kevin Mallory found out Friday.

Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the Federal jury’s verdict of guilty, leaving a potential sentence of life in prison for the 61-year old hired spy from Leesburg, VA. This case offered a rare glimpse into the seedy underbelly of espionage cases in America, which usually see more plea deals than lengthy trials due to the difficulties that come with procuring, and presenting, classified documents in court.

Attorneys for Mallory vehemently denied all charges that Mallory, who left the CIA in 2012, illegally transmitted classified docs to the People’s Republic of China’s CIA unit. However, despite numerous objections and the presentation of evidence from Mallory’s defense team, the jury wasn’t moved, needing only a day to deliberate before handing down the verdict.

In the original indictment, Mallory was contacted by a Chinese ‘talent scout’ about contract work through a networking website. From there, he was put in contact with a Chinese intelligence officer, Michael Yang, who was interested in using his services as an informant. The former CIA case officer, who just happened to be fluent in Mandarin, flew into Shanghai where he passed U.S. intelligence policy documents and shared some of America’s more intimate details during phone calls.

This fiasco transpired over a four-month period, according to prosecutors.

In their argument, Mallory’s defense team offered up an unintelligible explanation: Mallory offered up a ‘partial truth’ to investigators and handed over his phone when asked; therefore, he’s not betraying his country. Citing complete absurdity, the prosecution wasn’t swayed by this statement. And it’s obvious the jury wasn’t, either.

It’s common for defense teams to fight diligently for their clients. But when prosecutors for the United States present video footage taken from a FedEx store in Leesburg clearly showing Mallory scanning eight classified documents and a Table of Contents onto a micro storage device, it certainly doesn’t make their job easier.

The slew of charges Mallory faced in the original indictment included making material false statements, conspiracy to deliver, delivery of defense information to aid a foreign government, and attempted delivery. Sentencing is scheduled for September, with no mandatory maximums. Anything over 15 years could be seen as life given his age.

Espionage has few crimes ahead of it in terms of heinousness. Treason, and attempting to murder or successfully murdering a sitting U.S. President, are more serious anti-Patriot crimes for which death or life imprisonment is almost imminent.

You can see the DOJ’s official press release on their site.


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    Rebuilding? Need something manageable? Check out these 10 card options.

    low credit limit credit card

    Whether you’re rebuilding, or prefer to have a more ‘manageable’ credit limit, there are many low credit limit credit card options. You probably know some of these, but perhaps you forgot they existed.

    Back in 2016, I reviewed low credit limit credit card offerings from some of today’s more popular banks. But today, I’m actually putting personal experience behind the ten listed below. I did not include links or any affiliations because, well, I’m providing this list as an educational tool only. Apply with care.

    #10: Indigo Mastercard

    Probably not the greatest option available. However, for those who cannot get anything, it’s a start. The Indigo Mastercard offers a $300 credit line, reduced to $225 after the mandatory $75 annually fee is assessed. So, you immediately start off owing a $75 bill.

    I had this card back in 2015. Desperate for anyone to give me something, I latched onto this card and used it for gas. Eventually, I paid this off and closed it down.

    This card is an excellent option for those rebuilding but still have some old ‘baddies’.

    #9: Credit One Bank (any card)

    Yes, I put Credit One Bank pretty low on this list, primarily because of customer service.

    Of all the low credit limit credit card options in existence, they offer far more generous starting credit lines. But that’s pretty much where the glory ends.

    I once spent 45 minutes on hold waiting to pay my bill. My 45 minute wait spilled into their after-hours, meaning I never paid the bill over the phone. It cost me a late fee, which they removed.

    Apply for them only if you’re prepared to deal with incompetent customer support, and want charged for paying with debit card.

    #8: Milestone Mastercard

    Here’s another card I tinkered with during my rebuilding phase three years ago.

    Customer support isn’t too bad; I usually waited 10 minutes or less each time I called.

    What holds these guys down at #8 is their stinginess when credit line increases are requested.

    You’ll start with $300, reduced to $265 due to their first-year annually fee assessment of $35.

    This card is another last-ditch card which I’d probably keep off your portfolio if you’re one to request increases frequently. Because these guys are pretty ruthless when asked.

    #7: Total Visa

    I fall in line with what Beverly Harzog says about this low-hanging fruit: it basically sucks. Unless you’re desperate.

    This card has been offered by so many banks, it’s hard to keep track. Currently, The Bank of Missouri backs this card.

    I paid an $89 processing fee, and ate $75 before my card was activated. So, I paid the $164 bill off, and to the sock drawer it went.

    Use this card only as something to keep utilization low while building credit age. Buy $10 worth of gas, and pay it off the next day.

    Customer service? Not too bad, longest I waited for an agent was 15 minutes on a Friday.

    #6: (Tie) Surge Mastercard and Reflex Mastercard

    The good news about both these low credit limit credit card options? Starting line is $500.

    And, well, that’s pretty much it. Don’t expect credit line increases or competent customer support.

    Continental Finance services both cards, but both are backed by Celtic Bank.

    In some instances, you may have to put down 20% up to 100% to fully or partially secure this card.

    I burned these guys pretty bad, but settled for about 30% of what I owed them. Yes, for both cards.

    #4: First Premier Bank Credit Card

    I know, you’re probably thinking I’m on drugs for putting this South Dakota-based bank card this high.

    Let me explain.

    Ignore the fact you’ll need to pay $95 to tap into this card’s relatively abysmal credit line. These guys have rock-star customer support, are reasonable when requesting a credit line increase, and immediately credit payments when made.

    I had these guys for 4 years, never missed a payment and tripled my starting line before reaching year three.

    Before applying for the ones above, start here because they’re forgiving even if burned in Chapter 7.

    #3: Deserve Credit Cards

    These guys are another Celtic Bank-backed option for those with bad credit.

    With this card, however, it appears you’ll connect your bank account to your application. From there, underwriters look at your spending and deposit history to determine credit limit.

    This is the newest low credit limit credit card I’ve found. Having just applied today, I was given a 5-day application review turnaround time. Not too shabby.

    To find this card, head to Celtic Bank’s website or simply Google ‘Deserve credit cards‘.

    #2: Merrick Bank Credit Card

    I’m a particularly happy customer of Merrick Bank. Not only did they offer me their Double Your Line product via mail, but customer support has been remarkable.

    There are a few ways to apply for this card: Google ‘Merrick Bank pre-qualify‘ to see if their link works, or get an offer via mail.

    They’re great about handing out credit line increases provided there’s usage and timely payments.

    I believe you’ll need to be over 600 FICO to pique their interest. Some have been approved lower, and denied higher.

    #1: Capital One (lower tier)

    As expected, Capital One is the greatest low credit limit credit card available today. Not because of Jennifer Garner or Samuel L. Jackson, either.

    I’ve literally burned these guys 3 times over my life, and they’ve let me back in each time. Credit Steps works, too, if you work the program and use the card.

    Credit line increases, product changes and waiving late fees are commonplace, too. Customer support, albeit offshore, is pretty cool to deal with. And the Executive Team (when you must escalate things) acts quickly, an impressive feat given the volume of emails and letters they get.

    Apply with them first, and always do recons if denied.

    Final thoughts about the low credit limit credit card world

    Folks, rebuilding is pretty challenging. Once those derogatory items are gone, you may feel inclined to ‘app spree’.

    Here are five things to remember:

    1. Never apply for credit you cannot pay for. Always disclose truthful financials, too.
    2. Inquiries cost. Use them wisely.
    3. Read reviews of those in a similar situation as you. They rarely lie.
    4. Pay $1 more (at least) than the minimum monthly payment. Goal is 1-5% revolving utilization.
    5. Don’t open and close numerous cards within one (1) year’s time.

    If I forgot some low credit limit credit card that you believe deserves recognition, sound off in comments. Include fees, starting line, your experience and rate customer support.

      0 1770

      Exercise your right to private action. Today.

      the Equifax Data Breach

      The Equifax Data Breach, as you’re probably aware, affected roughly 50% of America (up to 99%, depending on how we’re looking at this). That means you, or someone you know, had their most private information hijacked due to an intrusion into what was supposed to be an locked-down database. This violation will go down as the largest public humiliation in business history – unless someone hits the other two bureaus, of course.

      Every lawyer from Seattle to Bangor is salivating at the opportunity to monetize this monstrosity. Many which prefer class action certification, of course, because that means a few hundred bucks for you, and millions for their firm. Sounds enticing, right? I mean, you get to publicly shame a billion-dollar data company by taking a few Benjamin’s and feeling vindicated that justice was served. Who doesn’t get excited by free money?

      Not so fast, slick.

      Since the Equifax Data Breach is so large, many people could automatically be thrown into regional class actions without notice. Not good if you’re adamant about Equifax being held fully accountable for your misery. Unless you care nothing about how much money is awarded to you, class actions enrich the firm while offering a pittance to the victims. They essentially reduce your pain, suffering and data misuse to either a name, or control number.

      It is your data that’s being sold from some lonely schmuck’s Tor browser, after all. Why not collect every penny your data is worth?

      Well, you can. And here’s how.

      First, print out everything you know about the breach.

      In law, this is called ‘evidence’. Judges need this because in America, unfortunately, a certain standard of evidence is required to both make, and prove, a case.

      Start by printing out your reports from all three bureaus. Identity thieves who purchased your precious information aren’t just apply for credit with establishments that solely utilize Equifax. It’s absurd to draw such a conclusion.

      Circle everything you don’t recognize, such as address changes, requests for credit you didn’t authorize, and brand new accounts.

      Now, Google everything you can about the breach, including every single piss-poor decision made by executives shortly before, and after, the breach. For example, one executive has already been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his healthy stock dump. Not enough? Let’s talk about how execs and PR pros with the company have openly admitted via press how bad the Equifax Data Breach really was. Need more? Maybe read up on the 2016 hijacking which occurred when 400,000+ individuals saw their personal information leaked from their W-2 Express site. Sure, Equifax’s motion to dismiss without prejudice was granted with the stipulation they fix their gaping holes. But it’s evidence of wrongdoing nonetheless.

      And if that’s still not enough, Equifax had a rather small hiccup affecting 14 New Hampshire residents in 2013, according to a letter sent to the NH DOJ.

      Print it all out, folks. It may not seem like much, but it establishes a pattern. A consistent, unmitigated pattern of data leakage that Equifax had promised to fix. But apparently hasn’t.

      Bundle all of this together in order by date, newest to oldest.

      Next, we’re going to write Transunion and Experian.

      As I mentioned above, data thieves aren’t selective in where they apply for credit. Each creditor uses different bureaus to pull credit histories; for example, Synchrony Bank tends to use Transunion, while American Express may be inclined to pull all three. In other words, there’s potential damage to all three reports stemming from the Equifax Data Breach.

      Identify unauthorized changes, credit entries, inquiries, and delinquent accounts that weren’t of your doing on Transunion and Experian. Circle them in pen, highlight them, or mark them as you please. No, this isn’t an opportunity to erase legitimate information; but yes, you can have items removed that cannot be proven as ‘rightfully yours’.

      Once complete, sit down and write each of these bureaus using your own handwriting (preferably legible). Explain that the Equifax Data Breach has nearly obliterated your ability to obtain credit, and by their continued reporting of derogatory information placed there by thieves, they’re directly complicit to Equifax’s snafu. Firmly, but kindly, request they remove information identified as not yours, and send you an updated report with those changes reflected. Let them know that, by law, you have the right to a thorough and fair investigation by a living person (and not using E-Oscar), and have the right to know how the investigation was conducted.

      Sign and date your letters. Also, I strongly urge you to accompany these letters with your identity theft affidavit and copy of your driver’s license and SS card.

      Trot down to your post office, and send these CMRRR (certified mail, return receipt requested). Once inside their envelopes, line them both up on the counter and snap a picture of them as close-up and visible as possible.

      Head home (or to Walmart with your phone’s cable if you’re unable to print) and print this picture out. In full color.

      Put this printed photo with your stack above.

      Now, it’s time to fight the Equifax Data Breach head-on

      With your stack of papers and mailings to the other bureaus completed, now we fight this germ with the Lysol known as consumer law.

      Even if you’ve been granted a free year of credit monitoring, your right to private action is preserved. Equifax said so.

      Head down to your county courthouse and pick up either one or two forms (depending if you’re broke). One will be your complaint, and the other will be your in forma pauperis form. maybe called ‘indigent filing fees’ form or something similar. Use this ONLY if you cannot legitimately afford the small filing fee.

      The form is more than likely self-explanatory. It will ask your name, what the complaint is, what relief you’re seeking, and information about the entity. To help you with each step:

      • Nature of complaint/why you’re suing Equifax: Explain, in detail, what happened and what damages were done. You shouldn’t have to attach evidence at this point, but bring your stack of paperwork in case. You may also mention that because you live, work and sustained damages in the county you are filing, venue is proper and the judge has the right to hear the case. Not always required.
      • What relief you’re seeking: The maximum allowable under state law. Follow this link to see your state’s maximum small claims amount.
      • Who you are suing: Equifax Information Services LLC (see photo for address).

      I am attaching the following photo because you must properly serve any business entity you are taking action against. This means the address must be correct, and the registered agent must be the one served (if known). That information is here (may need to click picture):

      the Equifax Data Breach

      Equifax address and registered agent information.

      Use the address noted in the picture on the complaint form; you only need to put Equifax Information Services on the complaint; don’t put poor Ms. Stockard on there. She’s the one that handles service of process, and would feel offended if you listed her in the Equifax Data Breach complaint.

      Once filled out, pay the clerk the filing fee, and pay the little extra to use their process service. Make sure that if there’s a place to put her name, you put Lisa Stockard as the registered agent. Do NOT leave the clerk’s office without letting them know this information. May seem trivial, but you’re covering your ass and avoiding your case getting tossed on a technicality (like failure to properly serve).

      Once all this is done, take your copy of the complaint (you did get one, right?) and walk down and get yourself the biggest damn ice cream cone you can find.

      From here, it’s a waiting game. You may or may not know your court date already, but if not, you will soon.

      Editor’s note: Do NOT fill out paperwork if you feel uneasy about doing so – gather your facts and find a consumer law attorney.

      What happens next? Depends on size and location.

      The Equifax Data Breach is huge. Many cases in large cities could be consolidated into a class action suit, which means now your case goes from a New York small claims court to some Federal court two states away (known as MDL, or multi-district litigation). However, you have the right to opt out and seek private action. And believe me, this is what you must do to really maximize your compensation.

      You can bet your sweet ass there are hundreds, if not thousands, of attorneys on Equifax’s payroll. If not, they can tap into a large network and retain one near you. In any case, you should pay attention to your case’s chronological summary, which lists every action proposed (or taken) on your suit.

      If some attorney files a motion to move your case, file an answer immediately stating the venue is proper in your locality, and let them know of the undue hardship traveling hundreds (if not thousands) of miles could cause you. Should their motion get denied, prepare yourself for a battle in court. But don’t try to use difficult legal jargon to match wits; judges are moved by a natural citizen’s explanation of events in layman’s terms. Just be honest, bring witnesses to your hardship if need be, and don’t let some attorney tell you, “Well, we offered you free credit monitoring, isn’t that payment enough?”

      Horseshit. Too late, buckaroo – someone ten Time Zones away has my information thanks to your company’s unwillingness to invest in technology to prevent such disasters.

      Damage has been done. You’re proving it.

      Once both sides are heard, the judge will decide on the spot, or issue a written decision within ‘x’ days (usually 30) by mail. Either you will have lost your ass (and should immediately appeal), or won a judgment (which Equifax rarely fights unless it’s millions on the line).

      If an appeal needs filed, it’s at this point I’d suggest retaining counsel on a contingency-fee basis. The legal crap that goes into an appeal is far deeper than most are prepared to handle.

      The Equifax Data Breach happened. Get what you deserve.

      You were affected by the Equifax Data Breach. Unless, of course, you like quality reading material (for which I thank you in advance for viewing this).

      Class actions are popping up from coast to coast. If you get a mailing from some firm, I’d suggest opting out because you’ll get (at most) a few hundred dollars for what could amount to years of misery.

      You are entitled to pursue private action for anything that happens (or happened) to your credit report or identity stemming from Equifax’s inability to safely warehouse your data. The Constitution (and laws) say so.

      Finally, you should always consult with an attorney if you feel that taking matters into your own hands would be too painstaking. They’ll get a cut of your proceeds, but you’ll never have to leave home (unless you wanted to appear on your behalf to testify or listen)

      If you have any questions, sound off below. I know enough to save our asses, and am learning a bit more each day. In my next post, I will discuss what to do when Transunion and Experian answer your mailings with some bullshit excuse.

      I’m not an attorney. I am giving advice based on information widely known (or available to be discovered) regarding how to hold a company accountable civilly.

      0 708

      Like recipe sharing? Head to Facebook. Or LinkedIn.

      LinkedIn is

      To many, LinkedIn is where business relationships are forged. Ideas are exchanged. Success stories motivate up-and-comers ready to kick down their cubicle walls in hopes of exploring self-employment. During its infancy, this is exactly what its founders envisioned: gathering millions of business-minded men and women from Seattle to Singapore to escape the scuttlebutt offered by Facebook and share the numerous ways one can monetize everything.

      Over the last several years, something tragic has happened. Something irrefutably ridiculous that even the savviest LinkedIn user is scratching their head in bewilderment. It’s causing businesspeople to quickly share contact information with individuals and take their conversations away from the all-star platform.

      LinkedIn has morphed into Facebook. And losing its appeal quickly. True story.

      Every morning, I carefully study the contents of my timeline. I’m looking for that next solid connection, business opportunity, or perhaps someone with an inspirational article discussing how ‘x’ leads to ‘y’. As of late, I’m seeing graduation ceremonies, cute puppies and scams. Oh, and the usual Trump brouhaha.

      Correct me if I’m losing my marbles, but there’s little a baby corgi can do for my (or your) bottom line. And it’s great your daughter graduated high school and plans to attend Oral Roberts, but what relevance does that have to the fabric of your business today?

      It doesn’t. Get over it.

      It’s time to polish up the wasteland LinkedIn has quickly become. Get the platform back on track so our future business leaders can feel confident their message (or sales pitch) isn’t falling on deaf ears. Because LinkedIn is the epitome of maximizing one’s business potential and does possess the qualities necessary to become something spectacular again.

      If you’re interested in turning things around, sit down. I’ll explain what must be done – now.

      Petition LinkedIn for tougher post moderation

      No, we’re not talking about utilizing Not a terrible idea, but let’s expand our horizons.

      If you see mindless ramblings which aren’t relevant to you, report the hell out of them. Report them every fifteen seconds, and if need be, report the profiles circumventing such garbage. Then ask your connections to report their garbage. Keep this cycle going until LinkedIn is either disgusted to the point they’ll upgrade their algorithm to ‘weed out’ posts before they’re strewn across their site, or they’ll do nothing and allow thousands of businesspersons to find more creative (and less intrusive) ways to collaborate off-site.

      There’s no reason posts aren’t filtered out already. It’s not an arduous task to develop an algorithm that disavows (or completely disallows) posts that contain certain words, such as ‘see puppy’, ‘i love Cheetos’, (et al). Posts that could be seen as potentially ‘disturbing’ or overly contentious should be immediately spun into moderation – even if they’re on your own timeline.

      Whatever it takes, every user must fight until these posts are eliminated. For good. Because it’s quite disconcerting to find my connections leaving the site and later telling me, “Sorry, the site was too much like Facebook, so I’ll keep Skype chatting with you.” I’m sure, at least to some degree, you concur with my thoughts up to this point.

      Really, we could simply stop here. But we can’t.

      LinkedIn is not monitoring sales posts. So, start!

      It literally breaks my heart every time I see honest people selling their wares to unsavory buyers. Conversely, it’s rather disgusting how many people are actually allowed to sell product they really don’t have. Although it’ll never happen, LinkedIn should be held accountable for the thousands of business deals gone awry by virtue of their indirect complicity. Yes, I’m a firm believer that an improperly moderated venue which allows anyone to rip everyone off (even after several rounds of due diligence) should be either fixed, or tore down and reconstructed properly.

      Sure, LinkedIn is going to scream caveat emptor from the tallest building in ‘Frisco. That’s what corporations do in hopes of protecting their financial interests.

      But come on. There’s got to be some level of culpability when people are posting unverified random crap for sale, ripping people off, changing names and repeating the cycle. That act alone is killing the wholesale sector – a sector heavily represented on the platform. LinkedIn is directly responsible for their lack of moderated sales posts.

      Change this by having all sales posts moderated. May piss people off initially, but consider the alternative.

      This moderation should be able to match posts with IP’s which have been flagged and reported in the past. It should be compared against a database of names known for duplicitous activity. Finally, it should verify (to the best of their ability) the products being presented for sale actually exist (and are fairly represented if being brokered).

      LinkedIn is more than capable of setting up a dedicated department to handle this. Their ad and membership revenue are more than sufficient to earmark funds toward redevelopment.

      But won’t.

      Well, I’ve put it out there.

      The changes needed to make the business social networking giant great again are marginal to some. But to those who’ve relied on LinkedIn every day for years, they’re changes that are long overdue.

      I encourage you all to fight until the tainted crap is eliminated completely. Or enjoy the perilous flight southward.

      Maybe I forgot a few things. Maybe I hit the nail on the head for others thinking the same things.

      Nonetheless, I’ve put the wheels in motion. LinkedIn is now up to bat.


      the Equifax Data Breach

      0 1770
      The Equifax Data Breach, as you're probably aware, affected roughly 50% of America (up to 99%, depending on how we're looking at this). That...


      low credit limit credit card

      0 977
      Whether you're rebuilding, or prefer to have a more 'manageable' credit limit, there are many low credit limit credit card options. You probably know...
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