Bruce's Poor Man Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources
In This Issue:
Secrets of living debt free
Can we sue the government
How to save cash-weekly freebies & tips
More '1984' style high technology
More eBay stupidity
Happy Labor Day!
September is National Preparedness Month
"[R]eal charity doesn’t mean giving away someone else’s money."
-- Doug Bandow
Can we sue the government?
Governments at every level are famous for exempting themselves from lawsuits but are quick to marshal their nearly unlimited resources on some hapless citizen, after they've frozen his assets first of course.
News reports from the GAO and other sources tell us we've blown billions of taxpayer dollars in Iraq and they found at least $1 billion was squandered (and untold amounts were pirated away by dishonest contractors and Iraq government officials and/or unaccounted for).
All too frequently, government accounting practices are shady at best and if practiced by the common folk, it would land a citizen in jail.
The result is the American public is cheated, again and again and without any recourse. It's no wonder that politics in this country has become a “we vs. them”scenario and the public almost always comes out on the short end of the stick. Government fraud and waste has become an epidemic during the past 30 years and few ever seem to pay for their sins against the country. The same applies to their corporate masters. Contribute enough tribute to the various parties and even if you're caught, as the case of the recent Wall Street financial fiasco and no one lands in jail.
Several years ago I had what I thought was an honest case against the government and challenged the ACLU to go to court as they had done so in similar situations but they refused to fight the government on something which they felt would take them 50 years to win and would eat up their resources.
The government knows this and applies this strategy routinely. Also, most federal judges are essentially in the pocket of their superiors so it's a losing battle all the way around.
This is one of the reasons we now push for jury nullification.
Lastly, we're in the final stages of choosing a supplier for our log cabin and will videotape the erection of structure and post it on our site along with an evaluation of the process. At this point, ZookCabins of PA is the top contender...should make a decision within the week and then we'll have to ensure the foundation is set up properly and once erected, all the plumbing and electrical will be installed. Even with so much DIY, the project will still cost about $50,000 (no mortgage involved at least) and will be partially off-the-grid to begin with.
35.5% of Americans' garbage is now recycled
This week's free resources & money-savers
Save Cash on OTCs by skipping the drugstore
1. If you have a 99cent store or DollarTree in your neighborhood, visit them first to purchase aspirin and other OTC medications and save a ton of bucks over Walgreen's
2. Walmart and even Target offer OTC & vitamins cheaper
3. For prescription drugs, it's hard to beat Walmart's $4 prices or Costco (you don't have to be a Costco member to use their pharmacy)
Learn Self Massage
Nothing beats a good massage for health and relaxation. Revive yourself by going here to learn how.
September is National Sewing Month-get free patterns at:
Winter is coming & start now to prevent heating bill surprises
Begin now while weather is nice to asses your caulking and window sealing needs. Contact your local utility provider as you may be able to lock in a favorable rate now with fuel oil or natural gas.
Have your heating ductwork checked if you live in an older home. Those which leak can increase your bill 30%...hire a contractor to perform a pressure test to locate leaks and then have them sealed.
Consider starting or joining a fuel cooperative to cut costs. Check your phone book or put an ad on Craigslist.
Get gift certificates for less
Use this site to get coupons and gift certificates for eateries...blowout sales now offer $25 certs for only $2. Go to: www.Restaurant.com or to www.TravelZoo.com
More great weekly grocery coupons – get 'em while they last
Don't pitch your old towels...
Instead, donate them to animal shelters or use them as rags around the home instead of paper towels. Roll them up and tuck into doorways to prevent drafts.
"If the jurors feels that the statute (law) involved in any criminal offence is unfair, all that it infringes upon the defendant's natural God-given unalienable or Constitutional Rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all - for no-one is found to obey an unjust law".
-- Harlan F. Stone
12th Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court
New uses for old things - Forks
Long before I realized it was a tenant of green living, I loved finding new uses for old things. I drank my juice out of jelly jars in the morning, used old T-shirts as household rags, and made stock from veggie scraps that would otherwise go to waste.
It excites me when I can give new life to an item that might otherwise have wound up in a landfill.
With summer upon us, I was wondering what could be done with the amazing cherries I have been bringing home from the farmer’s market. I thought about baking a cherry pie from scratch, but the idea of pitting all of those cherries felt overwhelming.
That’s when I came across this video by chef Stephen Gibbs. Gibbs is the executive chef and co-founder of Hands on Gourmet, a San Francisco Bay Area company that offers culinary team-building events and private cooking parties. http://green.yahoo.com/blog/ecomii_healthy_living/113/new-uses-for-old-things-forks.html
10 ways to repurpose an old picture frame
Art is only art when it is synonymous with living." Mid-century designer Alexander Girard said this and he is the inspiration for this DIY project.
I recently went up in the attic looking for a sun-faced poster that I had as a kid. It was a popular '60s design by Girard. While I was digging around in the dust, I spied some pictures leaning next to old wood frames.
Many were handed down in our families, some of them ornate and gilded. They just don't work with our decorating style now. I'm not bringing the pictures back into circulation, but those frames possess untapped potential. http://green.yahoo.com/blog/care2/39/10-ways-to-repurpose-an-old-picture-frame.html
During times of scarcity, the quantity of ammo will become more important than the quality of your weapons. The guns you treasure the most may have little value if ammo is not available.
Another word of warning for people wanting to grow their own food--have a garden, etc. There is a bill, S510, that will make it illegal to do anything like that anymore (goes after Farmer's Markets, too). It's called a food safety bill but it's not - it's a food CONTROL bill, pure and simple. Puts the FDA in charge of all of this so it cuts out our elected representatives and no longer gives us a voice on what they are doing. Same for the animal ID using the USDA to implement and enforce it with outrageous fines and jail time for non-compliance. S510 needs to be STOPPED immediately! We tried to stop it in the House in July 2009, but they pulled some illegal shenanigans after the first vote (and they lost) and voted on it again the next day and it got through by one vote - and then they scrammed for summer break. The Senate made some changes and made it even WORSE. It may be the most dangerous bill to date that we've ever seen. New Subscriber...
Six Things to do when disaster strikes..
It's scary to think about natural disasters, but the fact of the matter is, they happen--no matter where you live. The devastating floods in Nashville are a good reminder of that. With hurricane and storm season right around the corner, NOW is the time to take action to prepare your family for an emergency. Those who follow the old Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" will do much better in a disaster than the people who bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best...get the rest from the Dolans at:
"Fascism will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible."
-- Sinclair Lewis
More 1984 Hi Tech from Big Brother
The 4th Amendment has been under assault before in our nation’s history. And that has been chronicled in other articles on this site. But now that right, guaranteed by our Constitution, is as dead as a hammer.
The most recent major assault on the 4th Amendment came in the wake of 9/11 when President George W. Bush proposed and Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act, which was most unpatriotic.
“The right of the people to be secure in the persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The bill gives government investigators almost unlimited power to conduct wire taps, eavesdrop, access and search records and enter homes in an effort to root out those it considers terrorists. The bill was couched in a way that led Americans to believe it was to be used only in the war on terror but, like all other government powers, it has been abused and used against Americans. In fact, some Americans have been charged with terrorism-related offenses through the Act even though their “crimes” involved nothing more than making innocuous threats, taking or possessing photographs or drawing pictures.
Here’s what really killed the 4th Amendment. Technology and government have taken the next logical step beyond airport scanners. American Science and Engineering, Inc., one of the manufacturers of the backscatter radiation machines now being employed at airports, has made the backscatter radiation system portable.
The Z Backscatter Van™ allows law enforcement to look inside vehicles, buildings and homes just like the airport backscatter scanners allow agents from the Transportation and Security Administration to peer beneath your clothes.
The company’s main contractor — not surprisingly — was the Department of Defense, where the trucks were deployed in war zones. But the vans and trucks have been sold to other government entities — including states and municipalities — as well.
That means that, right now, ZBVs and Mobile Search HEs are prowling around our streets and towns looking into our cars, homes and businesses searching for something — anything — the heavy hand of government finds “suspicious.”
No longer are you secure in your “persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Government agents can peer into your car, home and business and you will never know it until they show up on your doorstep flashing a warrant based on something they saw through the walls.
And not only are you no longer secure in your home, your thoughts — or future thoughts — are being probed as well. A University of Pennsylvania professor has developed software that the developer says can predict which individuals on probation or parole are most likely to murder or be murdered.
According to ABC News, if the software proves successful it could influence sentencing recommendations and bail amounts. It is being used in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
They call it the Halls of Justice because the only place to get justice is in the halls.
September is also National Preparedness Month, an annual campaign to encourage individuals, businesses and communities to prepare for emergencies. Ready.gov, a Website produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, offers tips on how to handle disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
All Americans are encouraged to prepare for emergency situations by creating a basic emergency supply kit. Recommended items include:
* non-perishable food
* a first aid kit
* a can opener
* a cell phone
* a flashlight with extra batteries
* a battery-powered radio
* a list of emergency contacts
Depending on your situation, the site also suggests keeping the following items on hand:
* prescription medications
* baby food and diapers
* pet food and extra water
* important papers (insurance, wills, passports, etc.)
* a fire extinguisher
* a complete change of clothing
Parting thoughts, observation & words of wisdom
If stupidity were a disease, the CDC would declare an epidemic in America. Nothing frosts my cajones more than petty censorship and eBay takes the cake for being the self appointed arbiter of taste and moral authority.
Because your listing MIGHT promote illegal behavior, we have pulled your auction. Anyone who has used feebay for any length of time already knows it bows to pressure from certain elements in this country to disallow many kinds of listings ranging from animal parts (ivory – but you can list bone) to anything Nazi or gun parts of any kind – not even pellet guns.
I've had original editions of Hitler's Mein Kampf pulled from ebay because it was in the original German. Listing editions in English is fine. (Most don't know that this book continues to generate royalties for Hitlers descendants of which many live in this country under assumed names).
Although I've sold a dozen or so on feebay already, they recently yanked a listing for a how-to book on growing marijuana...that evil weed our government has spent billions trying to eradicate without success. Keep in mind, pot for medical purposes is becoming the norm in many states, though local municipalities are often in a tizzy over how to implement such laws.
Indeed, one county in CA, where feebay is based, generates $22 million in annual tax revenues...and many states are looking at medical pot as another revenue source. It is amazing how quickly such activities like gambling, become OK once the state is making money off the deal!
FeeBay, like many government agencies is now in the business of predicting potential illegal behavior...next they'll pull books on skydiving because it is potentially dangerous behavior. Watch the 2002 Tom Cruise movie Minority Report for a taste of what MIGHT come!
That's it for this week pardners...keep the good stuff coming!
Yours for better living,
Bruce 'The PoorMan'
A Shallow Planet Production