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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

7 Success Secrets, feeBay, Legit Online Work

We didn't starve, but we didn't eat chicken unless we were sick, or the chicken was.
A quote about poverty by Bernard Malamud

7 Secrets for Success in Life

Are there sure-fire secrets to leading a successful life? I believe there are a few and they’re not truly secret.

1. Have a passion in life. It could be your family, your job, or your hobby. Zeal for such activities in life will keep you young and invigorated.
2. Take care of your health. Nothing diminishes optimism like poor health. Remember and keep the old adage of “all things in moderation.” A diet poor in nutrients and a lifestyle without exercise is the bane of modern society…too much fast food, pre-packaged foods and a couch potato lifestyle hampers your body and your mind.
3. Feed your brain daily. Most of television is crap. Reading, writing, and verbal discourse act as vitamins for your mind.
4. Problems in life. Everyone faces challenges and often they seem insurmountable. Keep in mind most problems have multiple solutions. I try to always have a Plan B (in many cases, a Plan C or D is required as well). Indeed, something I’ve been working on for months just fizzled and that had been my Plan B. Now, it’s back to the drawing board but I know persistence will eventually create the reward I desire.
5. Live within your means. Modern living, via banks and Madison Avenue, has trapped us into the use of easy credit over the years. When I was a volunteer counselor, the top three factors of marital discord featured money problems as the number one area of contention. This is especially important today.
6. Spend 20 minutes a day just for yourself. Find some quiet time each day to meditate, read, or simple to spend alone. There is a lot of noise in the world today, which often drowns out the important things in life…self reflection is important.
7. Give of yourself. I’ve always liked Zig Ziglar’s line about help enough other people get what they want and you’ll get what you want.

Finally, and here’s a bonus…take time to try new things, have an adventure, enjoy life even it is something as simple as playing music you enjoy at top volume or watching an old movie. It will perk you up! Be thankful for what you have…Order ab Chao!

Three Legitimate Online Work Sources
You are a world-class expert. Yes, you are, just like Stephen Hawking is a world-class expert on the Big Bang and Martha Stewart is a world-class expert on making festive party favors out of tissue paper.

Your personal interests, life and work experiences and education add up to real expertise in a number of subjects. Do you tinker with cars? Read Shakespeare for fun? Beat your buddies at chess? Lecture your friends about proper diet, or Web design, or Star Wars collectibles?
Then you're an expert, and there's a place online that can help you turn that avocation into hard cash.

There are at least three types of Web-based businesses that can help you earn cash in your spare time -- and a fourth type you shouldn't go near.
Get the inside scoop here:
Also, see 10 Ways to Moonlight at:

Compare auto insurance rates to save at this site: or

Find Police Speedtraps by going here:

Interesting body toxins experiment…
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It is porous so be careful what chemicals (makeup, sunscreen, etc.) you put on it. Prove it by taking a piece of garlic and rubbing it on the sole of your foot. Within 15 minutes you’ll taste the garlic in your mouth! Perhaps those TV ads pitching products which detox your body with ‘ancient Asian’ foot pads are true.

September is National Preparedness Month. Learn some simple steps at:

100 Best firms to work for as a working mother…
Best safety tips when operating a portable generator during emergencies.


It would be the most sweeping change to American consumer protection in decades, perhaps since 1930. It would wrest power away from major banking regulators and the Federal Trade Commission and place it in the hands of five appointees charged with putting consumers first.
And apparently it scares the heck out of the banking industry and other business interests.


The Business Insider, Goldman Sachs is warning that "when the economy kicks into gear, supply shortages will become problematic, and the price of oil will spike." Expect oil prices to spike and gasoline to hit $4 per gallon soon.

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." — Edward R. Murrow.

Why Trusting the Government is so difficult…

Despite having served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, I participated in protest rallies along with my college friends at Kent State University (I attended after the infamous National Guard killings of students). Police were present at these rallies to protect the status quo of mainstream politics just as they’re present at today’s anti-government rallies. Our government has a long history of violating civil rights, today using today’s Patriot Act…back then, they used COINTELPRO…

COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States. The FBI used covert operations from its inception, however formal COINTELPRO operations took place between 1956 and 1971.[2] The FBI's stated motivation at the time was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order."

The program was secret until 1971, when an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania was burglarized by a group of left-wing radicals calling themselves the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI. Several dossiers of files were taken and the information passed to news agencies, many of which initially refused to publish the information. The Church Committee, in 1976, investigated these activities and released their findings (depite million of pages of still unreleased documents)…

In the Final Report of the Select Committee, COINTELPRO was castigated in no uncertain terms:

Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that...the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.[7]

The final report of the Church Committee concluded:

Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Governmental officials -- including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law --have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law. For the entire story-see:

eBay-Less fun, less profitable

I’ve used eBay for 10 years and like many others, have become frustrated with them to the point, where I’m thinking of dumping it from my marketing mix.

The clincher for me is their decision to dump blogs from the lineup. Although it seems somewhat inconsequential, these blog postings have boosted sales and have driven traffic to my website.

Over the years, eBay has become much more expensive and complicated too. There isn’t a month that goes by where they don’t seem to announce major changes and frankly, I’m tired of the non-stop changes…it’s like trying to keep up with the government.

Once the premier site for selling, its numbers have been falling off (especially compared to Amazon-which I plan to begin testing soon) dramatically – even before the recession.

Another bone of contention for me is their policy of arbitrarily pulling items because it “might” be against their POLICY. Their prohibited items policies make them one of the most heavily censored sites on the net…AND they pull items before they have a solid clue as to what’s being sold. (Recent example includes our Poor Man Guide to Homestead Defense, much of which was gathered from police and government agencies and in the public domain).

Other examples include WWII Nazi memorabilia, gun parts, ivory, information items it deems unsuitable, etc….despite the fact these are all LEGALLY sold in the United States.

Finally, their fee structure is becoming nearly incomprehensible rightfully earning the nickname of “feeBay.”

That’s it until next week. I’m leaving town again for a couple of weeks in an attempt to resurrect a business project which keeps stalling out on me.

Visit our sponsor link for an interesting business you can run from home

Bruce “the Poor Man”

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Living on a Dime

- Inflation hasn't ruined everything. A dime can still be used as a screwdriver. - Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.·

10 Things Warehouse Clubs Won't Tell YouBelow is an excerpt from the book "1,001 Things They Won't Tell You,"

· 1. "You paid your dues? Good, now get in line."
More than 100 million Americans now shop in warehouse clubs including BJ's, Costco, or Sam's Club each year. That's 50 million more than in 2002. The attraction? For the annual membership price of $35 to $100, discount hunters can spend their weekends stocking up on 36-roll packages of toilet paper and nuclear-canister-size boxes of detergent. Too bad they also spend plenty of time doing anything but shopping. Michelle Wilkes says she usually waits in lines of no less than 15 minutes on the weekend at her Lake Zurich, Ill., Costco. There are often four to five shoppers ahead of her at the register, she says-and that's despite what Costco CFO Richard Galanti claims is a company-wide checkout policy of "no more than one in line and two behind." What further frustrates Wilkes is that her store never has all its registers open. "I have never seen it fully staffed," she complains. More at:


Are We Really Depriving Our Kids?Living On A Dime
By Jill Cooper
Copyright © 2009

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the Living On A Dime Newsletter at, reprinted with permission.

I often hear ladies complaining that they want to stay at home with their kids but that they "have to work since it is so expensive to raise kids these days." One of the main questions I get asked about Simple Living is, "Won't I be depriving my children if I live the frugal life?" Maybe I can answer that question with a few questions.

Am I depriving my children by having them drink water for every meal instead of juice or soda? Isn't one thing doctors are always complaining about is that we don't drink enough water? Cutting out just one glass of soda per person per day for a family of four would save $547.50 a year and make them healthier.

Am I depriving my children by having them eat an apple or homemade granola bar for a snack instead of a bag of chips? Obesity is a major problem among children in the United States. If you cut out just one bag of chips a week you would save $104.00 a year and make them healthier.

Am I depriving my children by having them walk to school or to a friend's house instead of my always driving them there? Lack of exercise is a big problem. You would save time and wear and tear on your car by having them walk, and make them healthier at the same time.

Am I depriving my children when I don't buy them every toy they see and want? We wouldn't dream of giving a baby all the chocolate that he wants because we know it would make him sick. His body can not tolerate that much chocolate even if he desires it.

In the same way, an older child can't emotionally deal with the overload of toys. I as an adult become stressed just from trying to buy a bottle of shampoo. Have you ever noticed how many options you have? Trying to make a decision can be overwhelming. Do I get it for thin, fine, dry and damaged or colored and permed hair? The list goes on and on.

When a young child looks at piles of toys, he can become very stressed over choosing which one to play with. If you watch, you will notice that they tend to play with the same couple of toys over and over. If you didn't give them all the toys they asked for and bought one less brand new toy at $10 a week, you would save $520.00 in one year and you would help relieve them of some stress.

It is no wonder our children stay confused. We insist that they should eat healthy, yet we take them out to eat 3-5 times a week at McDonald's. We give them a bag of carrot sticks in their lunch because it's healthy and then give them a bag of chips when they get home from school to get them off our backs.

We want them to have strong character, yet the moment they whine or cry for another toy or some candy at the store we give in out of guilt. We are afraid that if we don't give them what they want, they won't love us; so to rid ourselves of uncomfortable feelings, we say yes. How can we teach them to be strong in character when we are so weak?

How could our thinking have gotten so mixed up that we think a child is deprived if a mom chooses to stay home and not go to work? We have come to believe that moms should work outside the home so that children can have the most expensive clothes, education or material things. (Note I didn't say best but rather most expensive, since the most expensive doesn't mean the best.) If a mom goes to work so a child can have all those things it's not considered depriving the child of anything but their mom. Which do you think does a child more harm: being deprived expensive things, or their mom?

For you stay-at-home moms: Before you become too puffed up with pride, be aware that too many social, church and school activities can deprive your children of you just as much as working. Do all things in moderation.
It's better to give your kids the values you have than the valuables you can't afford.

About The Author
As a single mother of two, Jill Cooper started her own business without any capital and paid off $35,000 debt in 5 years on $1,000 a month income. She then raised two teenagers alone on $500 a month income after becoming disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Together with Tawra Kellam, she writes about frugal living on the website.

House moves to extend unemployment benefits
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer – Mon Sep 21, 3:32 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Despite predictions the Great Recession is running out of steam, the House is taking up emergency legislation this week to help the millions of Americans who see no immediate end to their economic miseries.

A bill offered by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., and expected to pass easily would provide 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for more than 300,000 jobless people who live in states with unemployment rates of at least 8.5 percent and who are scheduled to run out of benefits by the end of September.
Stettner predicted that Congress will likely have to continue extending jobless benefits through 2011. More at:


Be sure to pick up a copy of the ’09 issue of Popular Mechanics…the self reliance issue. Interesting issue with some how-to and interviews on housing and other usable information on surviving disasters…Hurricane Katrina taught us not to depend on the government for assistance…lots of off-the-grid information too. Or visit their site at:

Inst. Of Urban Homesteading…resources for self sufficiency


Urban Squatters Increase

Tent cities under an overpass. Wooden shanties invading vacant lots. Squatters illegally occupying empty houses. This is not Rio, Dhaka or Nairobi. Rather, scenes like this have begun to appear in Fresno, Seattle, Miami and other American cities, where thousands of people are resorting to illegal means to find shelter.

Illegal settlements of homeless people have recently sprung up in around a dozen American cities as people have lost their jobs and homes and run out of options. As Where noted in a previous post on creative residential responses to the economic crisis, many families have refused to vacate or have illegally occupied foreclosed homes – which makes sense when 1 in 9 (14 million) homes fall in that category. In Miami, Take Back the Land is one of several groups either openly or covertly moving homeless families into empty foreclosed homes. In 2006, the group responded to a deepening housing shortage in Liberty City, Miami, by erecting a shantytown on a vacant lot that had held low-income housing, until the city demolished it 8 years earlier. Known as Umoja Village, the shantytown housed up to 50 homeless people until it burned down in 2007.

America spends billions each day on wars but the growth of homeless families in this country is deeply disturbing. You can find more information (& can help) at:


Gee, Do you think so?MANCHESTER, Ky. – When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drew on years of experience for a warning: "Be careful."
The 51-year-old Sparkman was found this month hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

Yours for better living,
Bruce “The PoorMan”

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Working Poor, New Resources, PM Gets Bumbed from ebay

Public Perceptions of the Media at 20 Year Low

The faith Americans put in the accuracy of the news media has reached a two-decade low, and their perception of media fairness has plummeted, according to research findings released Sept. 13 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
Less than a third (29 percent) of those polled said the news media is accurate, compared to 63 percent who view news stories as often being inaccurate, according to the results. The findings compare to 55 percent who said news stories were accurate and 34 percent who said they were inaccurate in 1985 when the first survey in this series was taken.
Public Evaluations of the News Media: 1985-2009

Our long term goal is to acquire a small farm (5-15 acres, cheap, of course) in MI in order to set up our non-profit teaching farm. We plan to make the farm self sustaining and off-the-grid. We would videotape the process along with working seminars on building wind turbines, solar panel installation and the like to sell to the public. Our research has shown many want these devices, but cannot afford the materials or installation…we would show folks how to do it cheap!

While on my recent trip to the Great Lakes area I searched high and low for such a property in foreclosure and couldn’t find anything. I was rather surprised at the lack of foreclosed land and how well in general everything seemed.

We did run across a source for affordable, eco-friendly modular homes. Clayton Homes offers a line of such homes (average price-$75,000 for a 750-square-foot dwelling). The homes include low-flow faucets, dual flush toilets, heat pumps and more. Check it out at:


As more people begin to raise chickens for meat and eggs, many have found processing them difficult. Here’s a source for an easy way to perform this task.

Green Business Conference…offering workshops on new ways to prosper in the new economy on Nov 11-12 in San Francisco

With the click of your mouse, you can help 27 million cats & dogs and it won’t cost you a cent…

Save money at the pump by filling up on Wednesdays. Typical fuel hikes take place on Thursday in anticipation of weekend driving…

Free plans for building your own electric scooter, solar hot water heater, dig your own well and a ton more useful (computer related, business, etc.) free downloads at You need to sign up (free) as a member first. Below are some direct links to resources I liked.

eBay finally booted my controversial CD ROM…Poor Man’s Guide to Booby Traps & Homestead Defense…despite selling dozens of them in the past week alone; guess their thinking is anything that is too controversial or potentially harm inducing is bad for business. If you’re interested in learning more about this CD ROM (I just added 3 new files to it)…Ironically, several of these files are distributed by POLICE departments!
Go to:


1948 Cartoon about our citizen rights vs. socialism…cute and pertinent

New Michael Moore film-Capitalism: A Love Story. Although I’m not a big fan of Moore’s, I did watch his interview on Jay Leno and watched the trailer from his new movie…a lot of words rang true with me as to how Wall Street greed and collusion with Washington have destroyed this country…see the trailer at:

The working poor…
"30% of Americans making $100,000 or more each year are living paycheck to paycheck, reports a study this week. That's up from 21% last year - a number that still seems awfully high.

"61% of all American's say they are in a similar bind...making just enough to finance their lifestyle every month. Just a year ago, 49% were living paycheck to paycheck.”
“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks ... will deprive the people of all property until their children wakeup homeless on the continent their fathers conquered... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." – Thomas Jefferson
Demise of the Dollar-Inevitable?

If every American family could save five percent of their income year after year ... and even assuming every single penny of that savings was thrown into the pot to pay off Washington’s debt ...

Each American family — and descendents — would have to work for the next 429 years!
The last thing Bernanke or the Federal Reserve
want right now is a strong dollar.

The U.S. government’s official debt is at an all-time high of $11.8 trillion. Every year, Washington has to make a staggering $335.3 billion in interest payments just to avoid default on that debt. In fact, just the interest on the national debt now equals 12% of all federal spending.

The Federal Reserve is also in hock— the liabilities on its balance sheet have DOUBLED — from $1.2 trillion a year ago to more than $2 trillion today.
Most terrifying of all — especially with the first wave of almost 4 million baby boomers reaching retirement age this year — unfunded government IOUs are coming due on Social Security, Medicare, and Federal pension payments. Those obligations are enormous: An estimated $104 TRILLION.

We are now the single most indebted nation in the history of the planet. We owe more to foreign investors, retirees and ordinary citizens than we could ever hope to repay.

And that’s not the half of it: Washington will add an all-time record $1.8 trillion to the national debt, pushing our budget deficits to almost 13% of GDP.
This year and every year for the foreseeable future, Washington will have to borrow 80% of the world’s surplus savings just to pay its bills! Consider the following…

· China is already lobbying — aggressively — for a new global reserve currency and leading the campaign to establish an Asian currency reserve fund.
· Over the past few weeks, the U.N., France, India, Russia, Brazil and several other nations — as well as economic thinkers such as George Soros and Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz — have joined China in demands to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
· China recently established a $95 billion currency swap with other Southeast Asian countries, and a $10 billion currency swap with Argentina. It is the first major Yuan swap agreement with a Latin American country — and directly threatens the dollar south of the border.

Gutting the dollar is the ONLY way
Washington can hope to survive
this massive debt catastrophe.

Destroying the value of our nation’s currency is the insidious trick governments the world over have always used when skyrocketing deficits and debt threatened the collapse of their economies.

This is NOT a forecast. It is already happening. You can see it in the historic plunge of the U.S. dollar against the euro, the British pound and other currencies. And you can see it on a very personal level every month as your dollars buy less; your cost of living soars.
The worst part is that this great debasement of the U.S. dollar is still in its early stages.

Washington’s record-shattering deficits ... off-the-charts borrowing by the U.S. Treasury ... and run-away money-printing at the Fed you’re seeing right now — all virtually guarantee that the declines in the greenback’s buying power we’ve seen so far are only a dress rehearsal for the dollar disaster to come.

Thomas Jefferson Warned Against a Central Bank

Andrew Jackson was nearly impeached as president when he ‘withdrew’ all US funds from its central bank and refused to renew its license; but ultimately, it kept the country solvent. Benjamin Franklin also commented several times on the wisdom of a country not allowing bankers to issue its currency stating, “we control its purchasing power and we have no interest to pay.”

When England outlawed use of Colonial Currency, a revolution began. Jefferson believed a Central Bank to be unconstitutional. Yet, bankers (Rothschild, Morgan and Rockefeller) managed to dupe our political leaders into turning control of our money over to them via the Federal Reserve (which, despite its name, is not a government agency) and to create an income tax, forcing citizens to cover the debt…eventually leading to our current fiat money system and explosive debt.
The fed has never been audited and no one today is even clear about how much gold the United States holds in trust.

The income tax eroded any financial restraint our government had. When the tax got its start in 1913, the real attack on US income started during WWII when it began withholding money from your paycheck before you had a chance to spend it. After the war, according to David Brinkley who spoke with Pres. Truman, “Congress decided they liked the Niagras of money pumping into Washington.”

The class tax became a mass tax and the spending binge never ended. If we do have a national default on our national debt, it will be a gradual, installment plan. China, which holds $800 billion of our debt, won’t squeal too much…as they won’t have much choice. We’ve been on the path of national financial suicide since the end of WWII. What we learn from history, is that we don’t learn from history as many other nations over the centuries have debased their currency and regimes often fell as a result. Inflation is a hidden tax on the people – something we essentially had our revolution over!

The Constitution was never intended to provide for us, but merely to protect us. Legalized plunder in the form of our income tax has allowed the government to reward its friends through tax favors while dictating social policy.

The solutions are straightforward but don’t rely on politicians to act (they’re in the pocket of special interest groups and the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) anytime soon. The most obvious answers include getting rid of the Federal Reserve and go back to issuing our own money (no interest); get rid of appointees and politicians who are members of the CFR or Tri-Lateral Commission (maybe I’ll do a story on these ‘enlightened groups and how they’ve help to create wars and bring down economies over the centuries); downsize the government by at least 20% and finally, NO MORE career politicians-Period!

Yours for better living, Bruce “The PoorMan”

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pot Sales Aiding Local Economies, Silent Invasion...

“In America, we’re all equal now…equally poor!”

California raking in millions from sales of ‘legal’ pot…
Keeps some local economies alive!

Marijuana farming increases amid ailing economy

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – Machete-wielding police officers have hacked their way through billions of dollars worth of marijuana in the country's top pot-growing states to stave off a bumper crop sprouting in the tough economy.

The number of plants seized has jumped this year in California, the nation's top marijuana-growing state, while seizures continue to rise in Washington after nearly doubling the previous year. Growers in a three-state region of central Appalachia also appear to have reversed a decline in pot growth over the last two years.
Officers in those areas, the nation's biggest hotbeds for marijuana production, have chopped down plants with a combined street value of around $12 billion in the first eight months of this year. While national numbers aren't yet available this year, officers around the country increased their haul from 7 million plants in 2007 to 8 million in 2008.

"A lot of that, we theorize, is the economy," said Ed Shemelya, head of marijuana eradication for the Office of Drug Control Policy's Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. "Places in east Tennessee, eastern Kentucky and West Virginia are probably feeling the recession a lot more severely than the rest of the country and have probably been in that condition a lot longer than the rest of the country." For more, go here:

It’s the economy stupid! CA is already making millions from the wacky weed (sales via ‘legal’ vendors are taxed…so get over it already, legalize and tax it to help with budget problems; THEN governments must learn to STOP spending like drunken politicians)! Ironically, laws to make pot illegal happened at the suggestion of an Arizona governor who wanted to get rid of illegal aliens who sold pot when they couldn’t find work…the Feds jumped on this during the Depression. Now, Mexican gangs are selling drugs like crazy…see our next story on the Silent Invasion.

Recession Busters

Retrieve lost files with these free programs-Windows-based only

Recover lost passwords with these freebies (Revelation program) (for words stored in your browser)

Get copies of important records, birth/marriage/divorce from Bureau of Vital Statistics


Cheap Car Tricks (Cleaning)

*Turn your stale smelling car into a fresh one by slipping used dryer sheets underneath the front seat.
*Clean bugs off your windshield by sprinkling baking soda onto a damp cloth and wipe the glass – won’t scratch the surface.

Swap Your clothes online
Trade clothes and accessories with folks around the country using or OR sell used clothing at:

>>>Winter is coming and now is the time to weatherize your home.
Check electrical outlets, windows, doors, attics and roofs for leakers and seal them – save energy and money!

>>>Interesting site exposing government fun and folly (Recent expose on ACORN)

Are you prepared? Volunteer or learn more about community disaster preparations

>>>>Changes in consumer behavior, according to Michael Duke, CEO of Walmart.
“Difficult economy has caused families across America to change their spending habits. We’re seeing many people who might not have shopped with us before. We believe that consumer behavior has shifted permanently. Everyone wants to be smart about how they spend.”


DisUniting America-Is this the Silent Invasion?

Of all the major challenges our country faces, which would you rank the highest on your priority list?

• A national healthcare plan
• The economy
• Energy independence
• Illegal immigration
• Tort reform

No offense to the President, but health care reform would not be my first priority. Making our country energy independent would probably be my first choice as I feel achieving that goal would also bring this country out of recession, put Americans back to work and eliminate the feeding and caring of terrorists.

However, illegal immigration is already a major problem and it’s going to get worse. Like all problems, the longer they fester, the worse they become. The ramifications of this problem could very well mean the end of the United States as we know it. The forces behind this problem are pulling this nation apart; they’re dangerously close to overwhelming the ideals that hold us together as a nation.

The Census Bureau projects 105 million Latino immigrants will be here by 2050. There are about 11 million illegals here now. Few of us have a problem with LEGAL immigration. However, illegals are bankrupting many areas as they apply for free schooling, food stamps, welfare, and medical care. Despite an effort in California to ban illegals from getting this free care, (it passed by popular vote, but was shot down by a judge), the massive welfare system continues and 85 hospitals shut down as a result.

More Latinos have immigrated here in the past decade than all of the European settlers for over 300 years combined. Some say they are non-violently retaking the American southwest which they lost during several wars and purchases during the early part of our history. The Los Angeles area now boasts nearly as many Mexican residents as Mexico City. Forty-three percent of New Mexico is of Mexican heritage.

I see two primary problems. One, most immigrants in the past assimilated into the American culture within a generation or two. Many Latinos no longer do this and they feel ALL illegals should be given instant amnesty. Second, too many illegals are criminals. There isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t hear about crimes committed by illegals. Despite being returned to their native country, they return and it’s costing our prison system a ton of money. Mexican gangs outnumber black gangs and they’re spreading throughout the entire country. There’s been a significant increase in border violence and gang violence has spread throughout the country (even the VA suburbs of Washington DC have seen alarming increases).

Various reports state the reason why our government doesn’t do anything is so Democrats can increase the number of voters they have in their pocket (although, in NM, half the Latino population does not vote). Others believe that a call for open borders will eventually lead to a North American Union with Canada and Mexico (can we afford to bail out Mexico too?) in order to compete with the Europeans. Either way, it’s become economic treason to taxpayers.

Our country does not survive well when its population would rather retain their heritage versus becoming American. Too many wish to retain their ethnic identity or isolationism. Virtually all Southwestern governments offer everything in Spanish now; most require their employees speak both languages. (Mexico doesn’t do this).

All of our Founding Fathers warned against immigrants who did not assimilate or hyphenated-Americans as they’re termed now.
America is becoming a tangle of squabbling minorities who moan about what America did 200 years ago. Sorry, but most of us have moved on; life was never promised to be fair.

Ethnic segregation in this country now appears to be a fine thing; unless you’re white…then you’re a racist. Instead of focusing on issues which divide us, we need focus on the strengths which made us strong or we risk becoming another Kosevo, Albania or Africa with its ethnic cleansing atrocities.

The birthrate among Latinos is three times that of whites and Asians. Too many are born out-of-wedlock in US hospitals while taxpayers pick up the tab and they, unlike most countries, are granted immediate citizenship. The cost to taxpayers for illegals range from $108-$400 Billion annually (welfare, free medical care, free schooling, prison costs, etc.) and studies show they keep down wages for other workers.

Solutions aren’t always easy. I don’t have the answer…the cures could range from:
• Blanket amnesty
• Ceding back the Southwest to Mexico & let them handle the costs (100,000 people are now annually leaving CA because they’re upset with the crushing growth and taxes)
• Build massive walls and use the National Guard en masse to secure the border from drug traffickers, human smugglers and illegal entry. Our government stationed 115,000 National Guard on the border in 1915, why not now?
• Go ahead with a North American Union and let Canada share some of the cost
• Do like Netherlands where no one gets in who doesn’t speak the language and know the rules
• Simply give up

So far, it’s been a good deal for Mexico. They get rid of their poorly educated, often ill residents, while the immigrant sends money back home to Mexico and the US picks up the tab for education, medical care, etc. Money sent from the US ranks just behind Mexico’s oil profits in terms of income.

US troops guard borders in Korea and other countries, why is it we cannot guard our own border?

It often seems to me that our politicians have a monopoly on being stupid. Historically, they have a long reputation of letting problems fester before doing anything about it as opposed to taking preventative measures. European countries are facing the same challenge with a huge influx of Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate…just a couple of years ago, Muslims rioted in Paris for several days causing millions of dollars worth of destruction.

Finally, although I’m well known for being politically incorrect, none of this should be construed as racist. I have nothing against someone coming here legally regardless of race, color, creed, etc.

Yours for better living,
Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When in Doubt-Sue; Financial Fire Dril, New Resources

How Did Living a Middle Class Life Get so Expensive?
A Financial Fire Drill

“Credit card companies have put loan sharks out of business.”
--Elizabeth Warren

"The American middle class is in real trouble," says Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law Professor. "American families are smack up against the wall, financially speaking." A middle-class lifestyle, she says, is increasingly out of reach for middle-class families, many of whom are going broke trying to attain it.”
“We discovered that having a child is the single best predictor that a person will go bankrupt," she says. By the end of this decade, one of every seven families with children will file for bankruptcy.

Even more surprising to Warren were the causes of this financial breakdown, which she assumed would implicate the battered culprit of overconsumption of luxury goods. "I thought I would write a story about too many trips to the mall, too many $200 sneakers, too many Gameboys," says Warren.

But stacks of government data on consumer spending, which she combed through as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow in 2002, proved her hunch wrong. Compared with a generation ago, she found, today's middle-class families earn about 75 percent more (all figures are adjusted for inflation), thanks in large part to Mom's entrance into the work force. But after shelling out for four fixed expenses - mortgage, health insurance, child care or education, and car payments - today's median-income family has less left over, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than the single-income family of the 1970s. Get a financial fire drill and more at:

Consumer Fraud in the United States: The Second FTC Survey, Keith B. Anderson
This study reports the results of the Federal Trade Commission’s second statistical survey of fraud in the United States. The survey found that 30.2 million adults – 13.5 percent of the adult population – were victims of one or more of the frauds included in the survey during the year studied. More people – an estimated 4.8 million U.S. consumers – were victims of fraudulent weight-loss products than any of the other frauds covered by the survey. Fraudulent foreign lottery offers and buyers club memberships tied for second place in the survey, with an estimated 3.2 million people were victims of each of these frauds during the period studied. Fraudulent prize promotions and work-at-home programs ranked fourth and fifth. Complete report available at:
National non-profit group devoted to citizen rights; offers a variety of resources.

ObamaCare Update…Sen. Max Baucus' proposal to create nonprofit insurance plans to compete with those offered by profit-making companies. The proposal by the committee chairman is noteworthy for the piece that's missing: a government-run alternative favored by liberal Democrats. Baucus would impose a fee on insurance companies to help finance coverage for uninsured Americans. Of course, if this were to take place, insurance firms would simply raise their premiums to cover this cost. (See our article on Tort Reform in this issue).

A strong key to lowering insurance premiums is through tort reform; something Congress seems unwilling to do.

Burgerville of Portland, OR has lowered its employee turnover by offering $15 a month health insurance which covers eye and dental too…has improved morale & quality of employees too!
This n That
It’s been noted that many employees, including city and state workers, are being asked to take furloughs or reduced work weeks to cope with budget problems. Why aren’t state and federal politicians taking pay or benefit cuts? Congress votes itself an automatic pay raise each year and few of them deserve it! Of course, few of them, whether at the state or federal level, work their job full time.

>>>If you need consumer assistance (been ripped off) visit the newest page that’s been added to the Poor Man site (ConsumerHelp) where the contact information for Consumer Affairs departments of all 50-states PLUS a federal gateway database has been added. We’ve also added a complete section on your consumer rights under the Fair Debt Collection Act and information on what to expect from a firm engaged in debt settlement practices…DebtorRights: Learn how to stop abusive debt collectors and more.

>>>Parade Magazine has added a new jobs section to their website worth a look see.
>>>More online bargains to be had at the following sites: (or try, for everything from jets to Gucci bags. National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops; good starting point.

“When in doubt…Sue! Our National Motto.”

Why America Needs Tort Reform

A neighbor of my parent’s has, at any given time, four or more lawsuits going. It’s how she earns a living and she’s not a lawyer. She sues everyone in hopes they will settle out-of-courts, as they usually do because it’s cheaper. Needless to say, she has few friends in the neighborhood.

A few years ago I was liquidating a medical supply business and tried to donate three high quality wheel chairs to various charities. Not one of the charities I contacted would take the chairs from fear of lawsuits.

I believe the United States is the only western country that hasn’t initiated Tort Reform and it’s a major contributing factor as to why our health insurance costs so much…but little discussed in Washington because the American Bar Association and the Trial Lawyers Association have a great deal of influence among politicians (read-campaign contributions).

I’m sure you remember the famous hot coffee incident where a woman won a huge settlement from McDonald’s because she drove off with a hot cup of coffee between her legs and burned herself…duh!

Because of stupid jury awards like this it’s estimated Americans pay an extra 25% for goods and services, especially to medical providers. It’s also the reason why manufacturers place warning labels on products which insult the intelligence of even average people.

From Wickipedia…
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in the civil justice system that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort is a system for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to another's person, property or other protected interests (e.g. reputation, under libel and slander laws). Tort reform advocates focus on personal injury in particular. Accident compensation procedures, compensation, and reform proposals vary greatly among jurisdictions, with a general upwards trend in compensation.
In the United States tort reform is a contentious political issue. US tort reform advocates propose, among other things, procedural limits on the ability to file claims, and capping the awards of damages. According to Forbes reporter Daniel Fisher, tort reform is "A catchall phrase for legislative measures designed to make it harder for individuals to sue businesses."

Improving the American Legal System:
The Economic Benefits of Tort Reform

The economic and legal condition of America's contemporary tort system has come under increasing criticism for being far too costly and incapable of administering fair and prompt awards. A recent actuarial study by Tillinghast-Towers Perrin indicates that tort costs rose from $67 billion in 1984 to $152 billion in 1994, an increase of 125 percent. Increased litigation costs have burdened American families and businesses with higher auto insurance premiums, reduced incentives for auto safety features, and contributed to higher medical costs. In addition, plaintiffs are often forced to accept a 33 percent toll just to have access to the current American tort system.

The economic effects of such a huge tort burden on the American economy are hard to measure directly, but are nonetheless significant. Individuals suffer from the high price of insurance and the increased cost of goods and services. Businesses are hurt by the higher prices they must charge to pay their insurance costs. The overall economy also suffers when productivity and growth are slowed by excessive litigation, which discourages risk-taking and slows the introduction of new products and technologies. For more on this story, go to:

American Tort Reform Association

Finally, remember 9-11 and the families of those victims!

Yours for better living – Bruce ‘The Poor Man’

Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Reality Show-Middle Class Squeeze

New Reality Show-The Middle Class Squeeze plus free resources...

Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life. - Michael Leboeuf

Big Brother & Little Brother Are Watching You

Tax deadbeats are finding someone actually reads their MySpace and Facebook postings: the taxman.
State revenue agents have begun nabbing scofflaws by mining information posted on social-networking Web sites, from relocation announcements to professional profiles to financial boasts.

In Minnesota, authorities were able to levy back taxes on the wages of a long-sought tax evader after he announced on MySpace that he would be returning to his home town to work as a real-estate broker and gave his employer's name. The state collected several thousand dollars, the full amount due.

Meanwhile, agents in Nebraska collected $2,000 from a deejay after he advertised on his MySpace page that he would be working at a big public party.
For more of this Wall Street Journal story, go to:

Resources & Freebies
Find unadvertised job openings. On a daily basis this site searches out the most recent job postings from company websites.

More $4 Prescriptions made easier to locate…
More generic drugs are becoming available at discounted prices. To locate one, go to this site and enter your Zip Code. It will give you a list of pharmacies with low prices & will notify you when your drug becomes available cheaply.

NOTE: Some pharmaceutical firms offer free meds. Meds made by Pfizer such as Lipitor, Xanax and Celebrex – call 866-706-2400 or go to:
Other drug firm sites: medicines or or Partnership for Prescription Assistance at 888-4PPA-NOW

Learn a foreign language online – free.
This site offers free lessons in 10 different languages…you’re taught words, grammar and pronunciation (& you can connect with native speakers).

Pharmacy Rebate Programs
Major pharmacy chains frequently offer products at below cost to draw shoppers into stores. These savings typically are provided through rebates, not coupons, however. Shoppers must sign up for the chain’s rebate program, then log onto its Web site to enter code numbers from their receipts and request rebate checks to obtain their savings. (If you don’t have Internet access, you usually can pick up rebate booklets in the stores, then mail in your receipts and rebate requests.)

These rebate programs are worth the trouble if you take advantage of numerous rebates each month. Pharmacy chain Web sites sometimes offer printable coupons as well.

CVS ( Sign up for a CVS "ExtraCare" rewards card, and get 2% back on most purchases and an extra $1 back for every two prescriptions filled. CVS also offers printable online coupons.

Online coupons
The most attractive coupons often are available only on the Internet, not in Sunday newspaper circulars. Web sites -- such as and my site, -- feature a wide range of coupons.

Find People Online – More Resources

Most folks use Google to start a preliminary search. You can also try these sites:

Why Mainstream Media No Longer Serves the Public

In the late 1980s there were about 50 media groups serving the US public. Today, there are five. When I attended journalism school, we were taught the media served as a watchdog for the public over government and corporate affairs. Now, the majority of media serve their corporate masters and government.

I once did a comparison of the nightly news offered up by what used to be the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS). Each of them reported the same stories in nearly the same order. By the 1990s, few any longer offered in-depth news, hard-hitting documentaries are much of anything critical of government or Wall Street (unless it concerned exposing extreme greed).

Disney, Fox, Viacom, Time, and Bertelsmann (a German firm) now pretty much own everything in the United States. Their portfolios include television, newspaper, book publishing, internet, some cable, entertainment/gaming, radio and more.
Incorrectly, I had assumed when Rupert Murdoch introduced the FOX news channels, the other three would shake things up a bit. I was wrong. Murdoch, an Australian, changed citizenship in order to create his US media business. Prior to Murdoch, our FCC would not allow foreigners to own more than 24.5% of any media based in this country. As far as I know, no one else has managed to circumvent this rule.

The FCC has also changed its rules to allow media to own more than one media outlet in any city. Prior to this, no one could dominate a marketplace. Now, it’s common for these firms to own the local newspaper, radio and television stations in a single market. (Example: I have a blog that appears in a “local” newspaper which also happens to own the biggest TV station in town and several other media outlets in the same city – fair and balanced!

Newspapers have been losing readership since the 1980s. Too many Americans no longer read (or cannot read anything beyond the TV Guide) and too many good journalists and publishers have been replaced by bean counters who’ve squeezed more profits by eliminating news and journalists. Americans today seem happy with sound bites and photos without much interest in the full story. This is one of the reasons why so many of us do not have solid grasp on world affairs or even our own government policies.

While the internet changed the game somewhat…there is a lot of dubious information on the net. There is a lack of meaningful news anywhere. For instance, in 2003 our counties, schools and cities faced several challenges including bankruptcy, a skyrocketing homeless population (visiting foreigners were shocked at our homeless, lack of medical care and affordable housing), poor school systems with high dropout rates, etc. – yet, mainstream media was AWOL on these issues.

Due to our unique system of local elections and local property taxes, only local weekly newspapers have remained viable. (In Europe, all taxes are national, poor people have better quality housing, access to low cost transportation and more).

I also believe the average European is better educated than the average American. I believe most of us have fallen asleep at the wheel when it comes to knowing what’s going on in the world or our own country. If you’ve ever watch Jay Leno’s ‘Streetwalking” segments, you know what I mean when a citizen off the street cannot identify a photo of the vice-president, but they can recognize underwear worn by Madonna. America needs more ‘reality’ shows!

The media conglomerates also managed to get rid of the Fairness Doctrine practice (this gave people a chance to defend themselves when attacked on public airwaves and it was sanctioned by the Supreme Court in the early 60s) which further diluted their hard news offerings, serious documentaries and the like. The “news show’, Dateline, for instance, has become a ‘murder of the week’ program. As a result, diversity in media is seriously lacking and corporate America has fewer watchdogs to uncover unsavory practices.

Even though the public supposedly owns the airwaves, our government is the one who profits by selling off bandwith via FCC auctions (this is the reason behind the digital TV push; the government made an extra $40 billion). America has only one PBS system, while many countries, such as Great Britain and Japan, have several choices. (it is ironic that the mandate for a variety of PBS programming was initiated in Japan by US Occupation forces after WWII, yet we lack the same in this country)!

Over the past generation, TV has become a de facto babysitter in many households. Children are exposed to hundreds of thousands of killings, sexual situations, mayhem and rude behavior. Mass media socializes behavior and the results today are dismal. Standards for what passes as entertainment have fallen dramatically.

The Cure
Radical reform is needed. These media conglomerates have been duping the public for 25 years. Nearly 75% of political campaign contributions come from these groups. They do intimidate politicians (as they should under a watchdog mantle). The Fairness Doctrine needs to be reinstated. Anti-trust laws should be used again. Term limits for politicians is an absolute necessity.

There are some groups such as the Center for Digital Democracy
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting-) and, which are attempting to right these wrongs. What it truly requires is for the public to begin demanding reform. Where’s that old trust buster, Teddy Roosevelt, when you need him?

Finally…reports from the government show the economy is “improving.” However, job growth is not. Because the number of lay offs has diminished and the banks are doing well means we’re doing better…more government spin! Stimulus funds continue to trickle out with the vast majority of it slated to come in 2010. Stay tuned…Americans are experiencing their own reality ‘survivor’ show!

NOTE: I have created a new reality game show called the Middle Class Squeeze but for some reason, I can’t find a producer. Know of anyone? I’ll give you a piece of the action.

Bruce The Poor Man
*Read the latest article on entrepreneurship from our new contributor, Jim Straw, now available at our site.