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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Preparing for Civil Unrest, Easy, DIY Beer, Reinventing Community

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Re-inventing a city

2.      Rep. Roscoe-Get prepared now for civil unrest

3.      Collapsible electric car introduced, Easy DIY Beer

4.      The Right to Free Speech becoming endangered


Good Government is not intrusive,
the people are hardly aware of it;
the next best is felt yet loved;
then comes that which is known and feared;
the worst government is hated."

-- Lao-Tzu
[Li Erh] (570-490 BC) 'Old Sage', Father of Taoism


How to Re-Invent a City

Every August for one week, the Burning Man festival takes place in a temporary city of its own creation, called Black Rock City after Nevada’s Black Rock Desert where it is located. This year, Black Rock City’s population will be 60,000 — bigger than Carson City, the state capital of Nevada.

Our real-world cities, meanwhile, are struggling to provide the services citizens need, limited by declining tax income, record debt, and increasingly complex social issues. Cities have no choice but find ways to do more with less. Many seek to harness the creative energies of citizens to fill the gaps, asking them to take a more active role in governance, service provision, and even in creating new services.


It’s easy to write off Burning Man as a hippie love fest in the desert. It has its own problems like any city, but that's selling it short, especially in one regard - its remarkable ability to foster participation. The event -- which for 26 years has expected participants to practice sharing, gifting, and radical self-reliance -- is an effective proving ground for experiments in community self-organization. In fact, participants build most of the city without any direct oversight from organizers.

First, Adopt the Right Mindset: There are No Spectators

Michel Bauwens, the founder of the Peer to Peer Foundation, believes that the proper role of government in our emerging networked society is that of partner in social production. This means that in a myriad ways government helps citizens help themselves. This turns the existing model of government as a top-down service provider on its head. Instead, government works in a bottom up fashion to empower citizens to provide for themselves.

Burning Man does exactly this. It fosters a culture of participation through its Ten Principles and provide basic infrastructure such as roads, sanitation, and safety, which, by the way, rely heavily on volunteer labor. Participants fill in the blanks beautifully with a seemingly unlimited number of options for care, connection, artistic expression, education, sustenance, and fun. At Burning Man, there are no spectators. Likewise, we increasingly need cities where every citizen is intimately involved in creating their city on a day to day basis.


Crowdsource The Budget

Almost none of the hundreds of art projects exhibited at Burning Man are fully funded by the festival. Many of them are crowdfunded through Kickstarter or Indiegogo. This requires active community participation, and it also organically vets projects ensuring that the best ideas are likely to be funded.


Don’t sow your crops until you’ve enriched the soil with Epsom Salts.  Sprinkle about a cup over every 100 sq ft (a 10’x10’ patch).


PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources


Survivalist congressman advocates preparedness, says likelihood of civil unrest is 'high probability'
You buy health insurance, car insurance and homeowners insurance. You buy life insurance as well, but Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, the senior Republican congressman from Maryland, has a different take on what life insurance really means.

"There are a number of events that could create a situation in the cities where civil unrest would be a very high probability," Bartlett - one of the country's most vocal advocates of preparing for the worst possible domestic situations - says in a new documentary called "Urban Danger," where he takes viewers on a tour of a cabin he maintains in rural West Virginia - a structure that is powered by the sun and by the wind.
"There are a number of events that could create a situation in the cities where
civil unrest would be a very high probability," says Bartlett, 86, in his video. "And I think that those who can and those who understand need to take advantage of the opportunity when these winds of strife are not blowing, to move their families."

Scroll down a bit to click on the link to watch the video here:



Researchers at MIT’s Changing Places Group and Denokinn have now begun testing the Hiriko Fold, a fully electric vehicle which is able to collapse into a more compact shape when parking. READ MORE...


Storing Leftover Seeds

Remove the moisture-absorbing silica gel packs from your vitamin jar (or other source)  and place one along with leftover seeds into a jar and seal tightly and keep it refrigerated until next spring.  Most seeds kept in this fashion will last up to three years.


Brewed and fermented spirits were a staple of the frontier economy of colonial America. Beer, for example, was available in almost all households and consumed at almost every meal. Beer-making provided a use for surplus grain, which could not otherwise be transported for sale in distant markets over the primitive roads of the time. Beer was safer to drink than most of the water that one could obtain from wells and streams. Beer had nutritional value, and in a world where most everything was scarce, one did not allow good carbohydrates to go to waste. Thus beer was a routine part of the diet of frontier families and a vital source of nutrition. If it made you feel better during the hard times, that was also a good thing.



A portable water purifier that uses UV technology to kill viruses and bacteria in water.  Will purify up to 16oz at a time…easy and lightweight. Good for foreign travel and emergencies. Requires 4 AA batteries. Available at various prices on eBay or at:

Even though global literacy rates are high (84%), Americans are reading less and less deeply.


The Nanny State Updates…

Pew Report: Middle Class Has Suffered 'Worst Decade in Modern History'
The U.S. middle class has shrunk drastically over the last 10 years as Americans' net worth has plunged, wages declined and standards of living slipped away, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Middle-income earners, long seen as the solid center of the country, are pessimistic and place the blame squarely on U.S. lawmakers, banks and big business, the findings by the Pew Research Center showed.

"America's middle class has endured its worst decade in modern history," researchers wrote.

Since 2001, median household income has fallen from $72,956 to $69,487 in 2010, the report said.

The median household net worth, which is the value of assets minus debt, dropped from $129,582 to $93,150 over the same 10-year period, according to Pew, which analyzed U.S. data along with its own survey of nearly 1,300 adults who consider themselves middle class.


The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the
disease it was intended to prevent.

The Parting Thought- The Right to Free Speech

Sometimes articles are more than just interesting, but very important to us here in the United States. Recently I was reading an article by Tangerine Bolen in the Guardian (which is based in the United Kingdom). In it she says;

I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial.


When Obama signed the bill into law, he announced that although he signed it he wouldn't use it (and what exactly would it be needed for then?). You can read his statement here:

Judge Katherine Forrest issued a temporary injunction in May to stop the worst parts of the law (Section 1021) from going into effect in May, but US government lawyers then argued that the administration can ignore the judge's ruling. On August 6 Obama's lawyers appealed the injunction formally.


What does the law provide for? According to Bolen, in her Guardian article;

...US government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA.

Judge Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law, after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities.


The bottom line is that so far, when asked to do so, the government's lawyers have refused to offer any clear definition of what an "associated force" is, which leaves them free to define it as they wish. In other words, the law gives the government virtually unlimited power to lock up anyone who criticizes what they do.

At the hearing in early August Obama's attorneys again refused to define what the law allowed. Worse, when they were specifically asked if NDAA's section 1021, the part which allows reporters to be detained without trial (and for an unspecified period of time), had been used by the US government after the injunction was issued, they would not say. They essentially asserted the right to ignore the law and the courts. Judge Forest replied that if it section 1021 has been applied the government would now be in contempt of court.

The lawsuit is an attack on a bad law, not an attack on Obama. Bolen admits in her article that she voted for the president, and isn't particularly thrilled about suing his administration. But I for one am happy she decided to do it.

The right to free speech is the most important freedom we have

“Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man

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