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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oprah for President, Birthday Freebies, Free Security Upgrades

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Oprah for President-Save the Middle Class

2.      Free Security Upgrades

3.      Birthday Freebies

4.      New Health Care Comparison site

We can't be so fixated on our desire
to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans..."
-- Bill Clinton, Former President

Saving the Middle Class from its worst decade – Oprah for President?

Few would argue that our middle class has taken a beating.  Lower wages, fewer jobs, jobs without benefits, non-stop wars, a decline in civil rights, an ever expanding federal government, an unfair tax policy and declining home values - all have contributed to a lower standard of living.

Neither party seems able to work through our (their) problems.

Without addressing the many problems which face our country, it’s unlikely we’ll ever bounce back.  The gap between the rich and poor has been growing since the 1970s.  Much of the country is stagnating and most college degrees aren’t worth the parchment they are printed on so many of the younger generation are not optimistic about the future either.

Platoons of Wall Street supported lobbyists have helped to shred economic safeguards and to reverse the tax structure whereby fewer Fortune 500 firms pay any meaningful taxes.

For whatever reason, many Americans are more enamored by Hollywood and its non-stop gossip, than the future of our country.  Perhaps if Oprah ran for president, the flocks would wake up and listen.

In reality, I’m not kidding.  Few celebrities have the credibility and following that Oprah has and she has done a lot of good through her talk show program.

Perhaps we should all consider her as a write-in candidate this coming election.  How’s this for a thought, Oprah and Palin running together!

ATM machine terminals are loaded with germs, more than public restrooms.  Use the corner of your card instead of fingers to touch the screen.  Outdoor ATMS have fewer germs than inside ones…might be a good idea to carry antiseptic wipes to use afterward.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

Obama Care Notes…Health insurance is too expensive

Health insurers routinely turn away or deny 20% of Americans for insurance…

While the Poor Man agrees the costs for health care in this country is staggering, Obama care does not seem to be addressing this challenge.  There are significant elements being overlooked in terms of tort reform, the need for new worker’s comp rules, and the affordability for average Americans.

>>The absence of health coverage results in significant difficulties accessing care. Among uninsured adults ages 19-29, 57 percent go without essential medical services at some point during the year because, they cannot afford the cost of care.

>>The impact on older adults is even more startling. Peer-reviewed studies suggest that more than 13,000 adults ages 55 to 64 die each year because they have no health coverage, making lack of insurance the third-leading cause of death in this age group.

People are rejected for new health insurance for reasons as little as visiting a chiropractor; as many as one in five are rejected by insurers.  Denial rates vary by state and by insurer .  The 2010 federal health overhaul will ban such denials of coverage in 2014.

 The federal government's new health care website takes much of the mystery and frustration out of shopping for a health plan. For the first time, consumers can find and compare prices and benefits for thousands of private insurance policies as well as community health services and public health programs like Medicaid or Medicare

"Unlike health insurance sales sites, we're not selling you anything," says Todd Park, chief technology officer at the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The website does not rate or recommend plans. "We're a totally objective, unbiased source of information focused maniacally on the consumer."

Avoid Fraudulent Websites

It seems each year the number of online scams grows, fleecing millions of dollars from hapless citizens.  Learn if a site is trustworthy or has already scammed someone by going to:

Free Security Upgrades - offers a Firefox and Chrome add-on that prevents Yahoo, Google and other search engines from creating a profile of you.

CyberGhost VPN Free - a program that temporarily replaces your normal IP address with a ghost address so that you can work online anonymously - great from when you’re working from a public Wi Fi hot spot or other sensitive area.

SIDEBAR:  There are many community minded programmers who create software applications called freeware or donationware.  These entrepreneurs deserve your support and you can find these certified free of malware or spyware resources at:

Source:  PC World

Turn an old lunchbox into a first aid kit.  Stock it with antiseptic wipes, bandaids, gauze, tape, scissors, etc.

Get Birthday Freebies…

Use the following sites – simply type in your zip code to discover free items.

Search Coupon Matching Sites for Bargains

Discover money-saving matchups at these sites:

Protect garden tools stored in sheds or garages from rust by spraying them with a light coat of WD-40 or petroleum jelly.

The Nanny State Updates…

America’s hidden tax and jobs nightmare…

  The regulatory burden on Americans has continued to increase during the first half of FY 2011, with $5.8 billion in new annual costs and $65.5 billion in one-time implementation costs. Overall, 75 new major regulations costing over $38 billion annually have been imposed by regulators from the beginning of the Obama Administration to mid-FY 2011. Action by Congress as well as the President to stem this regulatory surge is essential.
Click here for more information

A TSA agent is demanding $500,000 from a passenger who described the agent’s aggressive search of her crotch as “rape.”  The passenger described the event online and the agent’s lawyer demanded its retraction and pay a half million dollars.

Super Cookies and it’s all legal!

The university researchers found both and websites were installing "history stealing" supercookies. Supercookies are more invasive than regular cookies and more difficult for an individual to remove on his or her own. Also, supercookies persist and stay embedded on your computer, even after regular cookies have been deleted.

Freshen your toilet bowl without scrubbing by pouring in a can of cola and let sit for an hour.

The Parting Thought – Being an entrepreneur is a viable alternative

Amy Parsons used to work as a telecommunications executive, but the stress was eating her alive. Diagnosed with an autoimmune condition aggravated by stress, she didn’t let it frustrate her when she was laid off. Instead, she picked herself up and started a business, reports

“It’s a different type of stress,” she said during an interview this month as one of her seven dogs, Basta, a four-year-old Italian mastiff, sat at her feet. “I always tease I used to work with cold-blooded animals. Now, I work with warm-blooded ones.”

When Canine Creature Comforts opened in 15,000 square feet of rented space at the Great Valley Shopping Center on Route 30, it initially offered dog grooming, training, day care, and supplies. The $130,000 in start-up costs were covered, Parsons said, with her and husband Terry Cummings’ 401(k) savings.

But with overhead “pretty high,” including a monthly rent of $16,000, the company of 16 employees was in need of an infusion of money for operating capital about a year into its existence. Contrary to what she heard on television and radio commercials, banks were not lending, Parsons said.

Parsons said her corporate work had not prepared her for that: “I didn’t understand how difficult it is for a business to get financing,” especially a service business that rents rather than owns its property. “We had to become extremely creative.”

About two years into the business, Parsons added boarding services at Canine – with an employee who sleeps over, and even allows the more well-behaved “guests” to share the bed – to help offset the losses from the more recession-vulnerable day-care operation. Both boarding and training (considered more of a necessity than a luxury) represent the most promising areas for growth, she said, especially as the local economy continues to struggle.

Finally, it was a bad week for Iranian publishers when they discovered that thousands of cut-rate Korans imported from China were littered with mistakes.  The Islamic Republic is now banning holy books from being printed in China!

Yours for ‘thinking on your feet’ – the Poor Man

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