Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources
Inside this Issue:
Cheap storage or mini-cabin plans-DIY
Free or cheap resources
Battle over public pensions
Updates on Civil Disobedience
Better backyard harvests
Free solar house designs
It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.
Incompetence, Procrastination & Unwillingness to learn-this week’s sermon!
If you’re like me you run into plenty of examples of stupidity and incompetence from businesses and government. Recently, we made the decision to remain in MI and called the DMV to see what was required to re-register our vehicle and drivers permits (we already knew to bring plenty of cash).
It’s a 30-mile trip to the nearest DMV office so we wanted to be certain we had all that was required. Of course, that didn’t happen. The phone clerk conveniently forgot to tell us we needed about 20 different forms of ID, insurance paperwork, etc. Even though we were exchanging another US-State issued drivers license, that is somehow lost here. So that was a waste of time, fuel and effort.
Benjamin Franklin has always been a personal favorite of mine. I always enjoyed yakking with him during the conventions in Philly. Franklin, aside from being a terrific businessman, scientist, inventor and king of the art of compromise, was also interested in self improvement.
Early on he made a list of the bad habits he would rid himself of and I have done the same…no longer drink or smoke, no longer chase women and I work hard every day and strive to improve my skill set and knowledge base. I have had very little help in creating the Poor Man site and bulletin but strive to improve it each day. There are many slothful people in the world who want everything handed to them, they have no ambition.
The ’E-world’ changes so rapidly, that it is tough to keep up with and there are some elements of it which still amaze me - social networks in particular. Whatever happened to simple contacts via email? In any event, I find it nearly unbelievable when I meet people half my age who have no clue about computers or the internet other than these sites or basic email…others will put off doing anything constructive to improve their lot in life - very irksome.
There are many here among us who
Are simply asleep at the wheel
The Poor Man cannot afford hi-tech help and relies on self teaching whenever possible…the point is I see too many in society who are not willing to improve their skills. Evolution is an example of adapt or die and the question that faces all of us each day when we look into the mirror is…
What can I do to improve my situation or the situation of my family today?
USA Today had a startling report on how, during the last decade, U.S. Government workers, like Wall Street bankers, left their fellow Americans in the dust.
"Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.
"Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation. ... The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year."
News, Resources & tidbits…
Islands for Sale…if you recall in our last issue a reader asked how one could found a new country (the Poor Man suggested buying a used freighter or cruise ship). Here’s a site where you might find your dream property-lists islands for rent too.
Free documentary films-Find 100s from new & established filmmakers online
Get facts at your fingertips-comprehensive directory provides business news, calculators, genealogy, language translators and more.
Permanently delete private data-useful if you’re donating a used computer to charity or simply need to get rid of private information (forever) - both free programs.
Get better backyard harvests-Rx for ailing tomatoes and more, go to:
New, Eco Friendly Auction Site-haven’t fully checked it out but it looks interesting and worth a look if you sell green, earth friendly products. Offers a $25 signup bonus good toward seller fees.
USPS Shipping Services, Supplies Available at Office Depot Stores
Small businesses will now be able to access U.S. Postal Service
shipping supplies and services at 1,083 Office Depot stores
across the United States.
Think Individually. Act Privately.
Inspired by books and blog entries about living simply, Ms. Strobel and her husband, Logan Smith, both 31, began donating some of their belongings to charity. As the months passed, out went stacks of sweaters, shoes, books, pots and pans, even the television after a trial separation during which it was relegated to a closet. Eventually, they got rid of their cars, too. Emboldened by a Web site that challenges consumers to live with just 100 personal items, Ms. Strobel winnowed down her wardrobe and toiletries to precisely that number.
Speaking of frugal living, take a peek at our newest member’s site…
What is my site about?...
Discover the benefits of New Self Sufficient Living.
Provide for your needs in a smart way and make
choices that make your life simpler, cheaper and
School shopping no spree in slow economy
Big prices and small budgets have turned the once pleasant annual purchasing party into an allegory of a flagging economy, producing parental angst and industry cheerleaders who urge the moms and dads to at least "buy American."
The tool that allows you to hammer your credit history into the best possible shape is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA is a law that protects your privacy and establishes rules for collecting, reporting, and altering information in your credit history. The companies that collect – and ultimately sell – this information about you are called credit reporting agencies, or CRAs.
The first step is to look at the information that’s in your credit report right now. Since different CRAs may keep different information, it’s a good idea to check with the three biggies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can get one free credit report a year from all three by going to annualcreditreport.com.
There are other ways to get a free copy of your credit report. If something bad has happened to you as a result of your credit report – say you’re turned down for a loan, a job, or an insurance policy – you can request a free copy of the report that caused the problem, provided you do it within 60 days of the rejection.
You can also get one free credit report per year if you’re..
unemployed and plan to look for work within 60 days
your report is inaccurate because of fraud
Privacy Pirates: 7 Ways to Hide…
someone — maybe hundreds and people and corporations — silently tracking your every move. The tracking is so detailed that the web site you are viewing is likely to know your age; your income; your address, as well as the types of things you like to do and buy — just from your computer’s IP address, according to a series of shocking investigative reports in the Wall Street Journal. Worse, the site you just left is likely to keep tracking you as you continue to browse the web.
Ways to get off this invasive grid…
Battle Looms Over Huge Costs of Public Pensions-The Poor Man has reported on this for months…
There’s a class war coming to the world of government pensions.
The haves are retirees who were once state or municipal workers. Their seemingly guaranteed and ever-escalating monthly pension benefits are breaking budgets nationwide.
The have-nots are taxpayers who don’t have generous pensions. Their 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts have taken a real beating in recent years and are not guaranteed. And soon, many of those people will be paying higher taxes or getting fewer state services as their states put more money aside to cover those pension checks.
At stake is at least $1 trillion. That’s trillion, with a “t,” as in titanic and terrifying.
The figure comes from a study by the Pew Center on the States that came out in February. Pew estimated a $1 trillion gap as of fiscal 2008 between what states had promised workers in the way of retiree pension, health care and other benefits and the money they currently had to pay for it all. And some economists say that Pew is too conservative and the problem is two or three times as large.
“America is no longer the land of the free. US governments, at all levels, have placed a burdensome yoke on each citizen in the form of rules, regulations and laws. So many laws have choked its citizens and businesses which is why so many are leaving.” -Perpetual Tourist, Simon B.
Cheap Cabin or storage shed plans
Black and Decker, Inc. calls their 8'x12' shed a Basic Storage Shed. It is that, but it can be more. They have designed a simple 8'x12' platform and stud-wall building that has higher side walls than most sheds. You can build it with simple doors and no windows for the maximum storage space. That way, you can hang tools and shelves on the walls and still have plenty of space left for your lawn mower, bikes and such.
However, you can also take advantage of the high walls for adding windows and doors wherever you want them. Add a potting bench and windows on the south wall of your shed to get your Spring seedlings off to a great start. Have north windows for a little backyard studio. Or, add French doors to create an attractive poolside cabana.
The finish materials for the basic shed also are true to its name: asphalt roof shingles, plywood siding, and simple trim de tails are appropriately practical. But, you can easily dress your building up with a cupola, siding to match your home and window boxes. You can purchase prehung doors and windows in any style, or build your own using the project plans.
At 96 square feet, the structure is below many building department's minimum size for required design review. It's planned to be build on pressure treated wooden skids, without a permanent foundation. Because of that and the small size, you may be able to build it without obtaining a permit. Check that with your community's building official.
The plans are accompanied by a complete materials list and an illustrated building guide with step-by-step instructions.
Click here to see the Basic Storage Shed and to use the free plans, material list and building guide >>>
( http://www.todaysplans.net/use-blackan ddecker-free-all-purpose-shed-plans.html )
Mother Earth News magazine has provided solid information on many topics related to sustainable living and natural building for several decades, and now many of these articles are available on-line. I've compiled a list of links to some of their best articles on passive solar design, landscaping and retrofitting, by experts like Dan Chiras and Gary Reysa. Combined, the articles add up to a book-length primer on green, energy saving design. They are yours to read and use for free.
Click here to get the Mother Earth News Solar Design Guides >>>
( http://www.todaysplans.net/use-motherearthnews-free-solar-green-home-guides.html )
Plan3D is a website that will let you experiment with your solar design ideas before you build. It's a simple and intuitive CAD program, available by inexpensive subscription, that will help you "build" a three-dimensional model of your home. Then, you can move it in space, test sunlight and shadow angles, and add landscaping, shade pergolas, walks and driveways.
Mike Tyson put it best, though, when he said 'everyone has a plan until he gets punched in the face.'
In a recent post on your site you mentioned the idea of forming a "community". I found the answer--the family farm. What I did was to gather my family together (siblings & parents) and bought land in our state of Michigan. Over 40 acres was good for us and we encouraged other like minded families to do the same. We now have more than a half dozen extend families on a two-mile stretch of road working together. We even have befriended two other families who live up there full time, and they are now part of our community. Doing things this way has given us a large number of minds and bodies to help when things go bad. Gathering like-minded people, with different skill sets, has been a win for us.
A little humor from Dr. Seus!
I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like this speaker, Nan,
I do not like this "Yes, we can!"
I do not like this spending spree,
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.
I do not like your smug replies,
when I complain about your lies.
I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it, nope, nope, nope!
Gerald Ford once warned us that, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
Thanks for the comments I received regarding our newest segment on the Poor Man site regarding Civil Disobedience & Jury Nullification. As one wag wrote, “let’s hope it makes politicians irrelevant.” The Poor Man doubts that would ever happen because as all of have seen, no one in power likes to let go of that power. Please keep sharing that segment of our site with others and who knows, if enough folks practice jury nullification, it just might render those inane politicians irrelevant.
I’m waiting to hear from Bill O’Reilly & Judge Andrews Napolitano for their reaction to our take on Civil Disobedience…it’s also now posted on his Freedom Watch blog.
So which country has the most laws regulating its citizenry? In all of history the United States takes the prize turning out more new laws and regulations to manage our people every single year than most countries do in decades.
And it’s not like we’ve always had so many laws. Most of them are new. In 1814, when President Madison and the Congress fled Washington, DC, ahead of the invading English troops bent on arson, they took the papers of the federal government with them. It was easy. They loaded all the laws and regulations into a few boxes and left. This was all the federal government had generated to regulate us in the first 38 years of our existence. Today, Congress and faceless bureaucrats generate more laws and regulations than that in minutes.
Despite all our laws, we have safeguards in that we have a jury system and that those laws are filtered through juries. Another bottleneck to our freedom however is that more and more agencies regulate us without legislation or juries…the IRS, family courts, OSHA, the EPA, etc. don’t use juries. And where juries are allowed the courts try to exclude people who realize they can nullify bad laws, hardly a recipe for freedom.
Check these interesting YouTube videos regarding our eroding freedoms…
Here’s to you Mr. Jefferson-Cute video about our diminishing rights
The federal government can do anything it wants…Rep Peter Stark, D-CA
Second American Revolution
It’s good to see civil disobedience making a comeback. -Bob B
About the time this bulletin reaches your inbox, the Poor Man will have acquired a small bit of land in order to set up an off-the-grid homestead. As I mentioned before, despite the so-called recession in MI, land is still expensive compared to the southwest so our long-term game plan has been revised to make it more of a mini-farm. We may begin installing a small cabin on it this fall but nothing much beyond that until next year but at least it will be ready for us if all hell breaks loose.
That’s it for this week from your Contrarian Poor Man!
A Shallow Planet Production - share with your friends!
http://twitter. com/poormansurvi vor
Make Your Own Energy
Step-by-step guide reveals how to
make your own energy for $100 or less. http://tinyurl. com/PMEnergy
Terrific site for resources and green, eco-friendly goods http://www.growandm ake.com?ref= 71
Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down – the all time best book on family preparedness has been updated & now includes an online video segment as well. Highly recommended 11th Edition. http://tinyurl. com/PMBasics