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Saturday, November 28, 2009

We Used to Build Stuff, Free $, New Scams

The No-Wing Maine Militia

Started in 1995, the Maine Militia isn’t right or left wing; it’s an “up and down” wing group. According to co-founder, Michael Chute, We’re trying to get the folks to see the problem ain’t left vs. right or to use an analogy, a Republican is a standard screw. A Democrat is a Phillips screw. So whichever way you vote, you get the screw.”

The diverse group all share a belief that our government has lost its moral authority and has degenerated into “whores for wealth and arbiters of empire.”

Their meetings focus on developing a sense of community, how to take care of the people, feed the people. Amen!

“Government is like fire. If it’s kept within bounds & under the
control of the people, it contributes to the welfare of all. But,
if it gets out of place, if it gets too big & out of control, it
destroys the happiness of the people & even the lives of people.”
--Harold Stassen


Finding Unclaimed Money & Assets
You may have heard about how state governments take ownership of funds, jewelry, coins, stocks, refunds, etc. that owners never claim. Here’s a site you can use to investigate if any state owes you or a loved one assets or cash. Worth a look see & there is no cost.

Find links to all 50-states to help you with obtaining state assistance programs
Navigating through the maze of public benefit programs can be difficult and confusing. Many people don’t know what assistance is available — or how to gain access to it. AARP offers online tools that take the guesswork out of the process for every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia. It’s fast, private, and secure!


12 Most Frequent Scams During Christmas. Recognize them, avoid them.

New book: Ed Begley Jr's Guide to Sustainable Living, devotes an entire section to making your home more energy efficient. I can't stress how important it is.
“My audit revealed a few key problem areas. First, in an area above my old office, where the original room addition had been done, I was missing some key spots of insulation that had created a virtual 'chimney' of air leaking from the house. Filling that spot in made a huge difference. Secondly, our home has a basement which was ventilated out the sides of the foundation. By sealing up the basement completely, more large scale energy savings were achieved. In order to do this, I had to put some new equipment in, including my AO Smith Vertex 100 water heater and the First Company AquaTherm water furnace. These devices, in conjunction with sealing the basement, have dropped my natural gas bill by 50%!” Find out more at (
Bartering & 2nd Hand Stores See Rise in Use
As higher taxes and more intrusive regulations take hold (while the dollar continues to sink), more and more Americans are turning to barter and other forms of private commerce between individuals. CraigsList, for example, is reporting an 80% jump in bartering activity by private citizens. And there has been a surge of interest in sites such as as well.
Of course, the rise of the "black market" (i.e. the free market) is one consequence of political rules and mandates which are largely responsible for crippling our economy.
See our site for links to community currency how-to’s and bartering!

According to the Census…real median household incomes declined nationally and for the first time in a decade, foreign-born residents in the US did not grow. The share of people who have never married increased 4% since 2002. Cities which lost the largest percentages of population include Cleveland, Philadelphia and New Orleans. Participation in the census isn’t optional. Failure to fill out the form is punishable by a fine of up to $5000! offers freebies you might need…shower cleanser, dog food and for stuff you didn’t know you needed such as caffeinated soap.

Get Free internet radio featuring 2.4 million songs at:

Consumer spending rose in October 1.7%…oh how the fed & Wall Street love that. Consumer Price Index, which is a statistical lie (it doesn’t include food or fuel), shows inflation is ‘under control,’ & wages rose 0.2% and unemployment claims were under 500,000 representing a slight dip. The Obama administration continues to focus on their nonsensical healthcare plans, while devoting little attention to the employment picture. Wag the dog politics as far as I’m concerned. Those bumblers in Washington don’t seem to have a clue about the real way to reform health care.
Make it simple…initiate tort reform, tie premiums into auto/home insurance to create a bigger national pool…or, just expand/revise the current Medicare program.

See my thoughts on China below to see how they focus on the real economy. Our one-time enemy now seems poised to beat us at our own game. Perhaps Washington is too busy watching Dancing With the Stars or some other lame program?
Environmental Police – what’s next, bedroom police?
Looking at these police officers, you might think they’re from the Parks Department or some tiny town in Texas. Brooklyn business owners look at their olive green uniforms and Stetson hats and know immediately that they’re not city brass. But these aren’t visiting officers from another state – they’re an environmental police force whose job is find and prosecute environmental offenders, and they’re very serious about what they do.
As a member of a small force of police officers whose sole focus is enforcing environmental laws, Officer Stevens carries a gun and handcuffs and can haul a suspect off to jail. These environmental conservation officers number barely 20 in New York City, out of about 300 around the state, but issue about 2,000 summonses for violations and criminal charges annually.
Google says PC will start in seven seconds or less
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) -
New Google Inc software will start up a computer as fast as a television can be turned on, the search company said on Thursday as it showed off its Chrome operating system designed for PCs that do their work on the Web


5 Easy Steps to Stay Safe (and Private!) on Facebook
When the President of the United States warns schoolchildren to watch what they say and do on Facebook, you know that we've got a problem...and it's not one limited to the U.S.'s borders, either. People everywhere are mindlessly over-sharing on the world's largest social network, without a second thought as to who's reading their posts or what effect it could have on them further down the road. For example, did you know that 30% of today's employers are using Facebook to vet potential employees prior to hiring? In today's tough economy, the question of whether to post those embarrassing party pics could now cost you a paycheck in addition to a reputation. (Keep that in mind when tagging your friends' photos, too, won't you?)

We used to build stuff!

The middle class in America was built by the manufacturing or Blue Collar worker. Manufacturing has all but vanished in this country and that’s when our decline started.
Now, the Chinese have taken over that role and their economy is doing much better than ours.

President Obama’s recent visit to China should have opened his eyes as to the disparity between our two countries. Isn’t it amazing that a Communist country, once our enemy, is now surpassing us in terms of capitalism? While we are contaminated with bumbling bureaucrats, the Chinese, for instance, recently built a new six-lane highway in Shanghai which took only two years. In America, it would have taken two years just to do an environmental study!

The Chinese are constructing a national high speed rail system covering 10,000 miles, something I’ve been urging for this country to do for more than twenty years. The Chinese are moving forward while America is stuck in neutral. They’re pouring money into the real economy, while we’re busy bailing out the idiots who got us into our financial mess. They’re seeding green technology jobs and will eventually dominate the electric vehicle market. They’re busy ramping up technological and engineering education (free to qualified citizens) to its people while we raise tuition rates beyond the reach of average Americans.

Not everything is bleak here…Dow chemical company, for instance, recently developed a solar shingle for your roof; costing 10-15% less than traditional solar powered panels.

Goes back to what I always say…we don’t need another election, we need another revolution!

Yours for better living – Bruce “The PoorMan”
Please share this with others!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Free Holiday Resources, Tips & Ideas

Holiday Freebies, Tips & Resources-Save Money!

The Right to be left alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom!
--Justice William Douglas

Free holiday shipping & other freebies
To get packages delivered at no charge from retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, the Gap & others, go to:
For Free jewelry (shipping charges apply) go to:
Even more freebies…

Swap it for cash
Get paid for your old gadgets from sites like:
Get competing bids from the different sites to see which will pay more for your old MP3 player, cellphones, etc. Some retailers like Sam’s Club, Best Buy & Radio Shack will let you trade up your old electronics. Once the item is appraised, you’ll get a gift card to use on new purchases. Check a retailers website beforehand as some will only allow these trades online.

Better Budgeting
Join or start your own coupon or budget club to save money & track expenses.
Find handy guides at: (start your own coupon club)

Winter-proofing your auto
It’s been many years since I’ve lived in a cold climate & here are some tips for dealing with cold weather.

· Wipe ordinary car wax onto your auto headlights to keep winter slush & salt away
· Ice-proof your windows with vinegar-3 parts vinegar to water in a spray bottle, spritz onto your windshield at night
· De-ice your lock with hand sanitizer-just place some onto your key & lock
· Prevent car doors from freezing closed with cooking spray-place on the rubber seals around car doors & rub in with a paper towel

Go Green With Holiday Cards this Year
Save time & money & choose from 100s of free eCards for the holidays this year at:

10 Crucial Trends for 2010-Free Report from TrendWatching…always wise to have an idea as to what will take place in society. Get your insights here.

25 Hot Niche Areas to make money from Howie

Solid & growing alternative to eBay-free listings too! Tell ‘em the PoorMan sent ya!

Buying Gold & Silver questions…

"Is there any advantage," asks D.B. Ting, "to holding 'coin grade' coinage versus 'bullion grade' coinage?"

"Do the brokerages who sell gold and silver [coins] report to the federal government the purchases made?" asks Janet S.

And a reader known only as "Dave," questions, "[what's the] best place to buy 'junk' silver? How to receive them in a low profile fashion, so the delivery guy (and neighbors) don't know? And yes, I am paranoid."

1. Numismatically speaking, graded coins sell for higher prices and hold their value better. Junk silver is just that…the worth is based on current silver prices.
2. Depends. Buy large amounts (over $5000) and if you pay in cash, a true brokerage firm does report to the IRS…better off buying under the table from private citizens or dealers. In either case, avoid using a credit card for payment
3. Place ads online or in local papers…offer to buy ‘junk silver’ coins. Coin magazines usually have ads where you can find sources to purchase bag lots of junk silver coins. Visit local coin dealers and antique malls too. An offer to buy in bulk will usually get you a better deal.


Establishing martial law in the United States

Editors Note: In 1996 I wrote a manual on protecting your privacy from ex-spouses, lawyers & government agencies. The situation, as far as Big Brother has grown significantly worse with agencies like RISSNET & others which have developed more power & cooperation. This is an update to a presidential executive order 1st issued in 1976. Almost any excuse today will allow the government to declare martial law & to completely take over EVERY aspect of your life.
From SourceWatch
The John W. Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (PL 109-364), "named for the longtime Armed Services Committee chairman from Virginia," was signed October 17, 2006, by President George W. Bush. The Act "has a provocative provision called 'Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies'," the thrust of which "seems to be about giving the federal government a far stronger hand in coordinating responses to [Hurricane] Katrina-like disasters," Jeff Stein, CQ National Security Editor wrote December 1, 2006.
"But on closer inspection, its language also alters the two-centuries-old Insurrection Act, which Congress passed in 1807 to limit the president’s power to deploy troops within the United States ... 'to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy'," Stein wrote.
"But the amended law takes the cuffs off" and "critics say it’s a formula for executive branch mischief," Stein wrote, as "the new language adds 'natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident' to the list of conditions permitting the President to take over local authority — particularly 'if domestic violence has occurred …more at:

This will be the first holiday season that I’ve been home in years and with that in mind, I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Order from Chaos.

Yours for better living – Bruce “The Poor Man”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2000 Mile Trek, Volunteer Opps

The US ranks #6 for credit card balances
Contrary to what’s often reported, the average American does not carry an $8000 credit card balance; it’s closer to $3000; 27% of Americans don’t carry a credit card! The Dutch owe an average of one week’s salary or less to credit cards.

10 Ways Credit Card Companies Are Still Screwing You
According to the Center for Responsible Lending, issuers are using the power they still have for a few months to implement “any time any reason” price changes to raise the interest rates for large groups of customers.
One top issuer recently raised the rate across the board on a very large group of low risk consumers who have always paid on time to an astonishing 30%. Just a year ago, this high a rate was unheard of for a regular purchase rate on a non-subprime credit card.
That's confirmed by a new Federal Reserve study on the CARD Act: 54% of banks have already increased or are planning to increase the credit card APR on their good (prime) customers. 74% of banks have already or will increase APRs on those with poor credit (subprime). For more of the story, go to:

eBay Consumer Loyalty Drops in 2009

eBay's consumer loyalty, measured by whether they would recommend
the brand to a friend, has been slowly eroding through all of
2009, according to YouGov's BrandIndex, a daily
consumer-perception research service of brands.

Are Western Governments Going Broke?

Are the Western Welfare States (the U.S., Japan, and EU nations) really going bankrupt? Things were headed that way before the credit crisis began. The Global Financial Crisis may be becoming a sovereign debt crisis and that will worsen an already bad situation.

First, let’s check out the chart below from the 2008 annual budget audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. It shows that the U.S. government must roll over $3.4 trillion in debt over the next four years. This $3.4 trillion does not include any additional borrowing that may be required for other government programs (wars, healthcare, wars, school lunches). For the rest of the story, go to:


I’m curious…how many of you will be mailing holiday cards this year?
I still send out printed cards, though fewer each year. Many families seek out ways to give back during the holidays and the best gift is to volunteer or make other donations (we donated a 14’ foot truck worth of goods and food prior to our move this year to the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other organizations).

>>Buy greeting cards from more than 100 non-profit groups to help fund their causes at:

>>Type in your zip code & interests to find volunteer projects near you at:

This n That…

Form a weekly gratitude group. Folks who talk together about what’s right in their lives are happier, healthier and more optimistic and tend to form stronger bonds with each other. Develop the Gratitude Attitude as Zig Ziglar always says!

Ask for free legal advice at this site…lawyers will review & provide feedback:

Finally…during our 2000 mile trek across the country, we made a few observations:

>>Aside from Arizonians, who are among the rudest drivers in the country, everyone else seemed pretty darn nice.
>>Most folks we spoke with ALL seemed very concerned with the direction our government has taken and NOT ONE felt the stimulus package has helped the average guy!
>>Fuel prices rose in just about every state.
>>Super8 Motels, though very nice, have really jacked up their prices and NOW charge for overnight pets (they used to be free).

That’s all for this week – Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Bruce “The Poor Man”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Middle Class Woes, New FTC Rules, 7 At-Home Jobs

FTC Red Flag Rules, 7 At-Home Jobs, Outlook

At the end of 2006, many of my ‘inner circle’ of dealers and eBay sellers scoffed when I told them to get rid of stuff as quickly as possible to avoid the fall in prices and demand. They’re not laughing now.
Many of my dealer friends have left the business entirely or have finally downsized their inventories. The recession is over suggests many recent headlines, but I beg to differ. So long as people aren’t working and the government is spending us into oblivion, the recession is not over with.
No, I don’t have a crystal ball, but one doesn’t need to be a psychic to see what has been happening. Common sense tells us everything, including economics, is cyclical. Long time readers of my columns noted that since 1986 I’ve been highly critical of government and Wall Street policies, which I predicted would lead to some kind of crash.

Right now, I’m telling my circle to invest in some kind of foreign currency as a hedge AND no, I’m not a financial planner either!


7 Unusual Work-From-Home Jobs
Once you had to be a graphic designer, a consultant, or a freelance copywriter if you wanted to ditch your cubicle and make money in your pajamas. But advances in technology have brought work-from-home jobs to nearly every business sector.
If you're ready to trade your morning car-commute for a quick stroll over to your home computer, consider these unusual work-from-home possibilities:
* Concierge -- Ask for restaurant recommendations


Stay Away from so-called mortgage rescue firms. Neighbor Works America ( has teamed up with other non-profits to warn homeowners against scam artists. Here are a couple of legitimate resources you can use:
· Homeownership Preservation Foundation-HOPE at 1-888-995-4673 or
· Find HUD approved groups which offer free foreclosure assistance at: www.findaforeclosurecounselor.og
· File complaints against scammers by contacting your Attorney Generals office (see our site for links to all 50 states) or call the FTC at: 1-877-382-4357

The Dollar's Worst Market, Ever.
We've had bear markets in the dollar before, but none as wicked as the current one. The dollar has now lost more than 40% of its value since 2001 — and is likely to lose as much as another 50%, before it's ultimately replaced as the world's reserve currency. You might wish to consider stashing some cash into a foreign currency such as the Canadian dollar as a hedge.
Steps you should be taking NOW ...
From an environmental and social perspective, naturally, you should become acutely aware of the problems Mother Earth faces in the years ahead. That means being more respectful to the environment, more conserving and recycling what you can.
Each of us has to do our part. Not only to help Mother Earth, but to help those less fortunate than us and in desperate need of resources we take for granted.
We have reached peak oil and it’s showing itself again with higher prices; already starting before Thanksgiving. Since being forewarned by the Arab Oil Embargo of 1974, our government has never initiated any kind of viable energy policy AND lip service doesn’t solve anything.
The end of the middle class in the USA?
“[Those in the] middle class suddenly discover that they are overqualified for the jobs they can find and have to settle for anything they can obtain, therefore unemployment sky rockets: too much to offer, too little demand. You see they prepare, study for a job they are not going to get. You kids, you are studying Architecture because you simply wish to do so. Only 3 or 4 percent of you will actually find a job related to architecture.”

We all sat there, letting it all sink in. After a few months, it all proved to be true. Even the amount of students that dropped out of college increased to at least 50%. They either [saw] no point in studying something that would not make much of a difference in their future salaries, had no money to keep themselves in college, or simply had to drop college to work and support their families.
Fernando Aguirre, who posts on Internet forums and his blog as FerFAL, has written voluminously about his experiences as an Argentine citizen during and after the economic cataclysm that wracked his country in 2001.
This reads like a premonition.

The USA’s middle-class includes lots of people whose careers rest on higher education and specialized certification. While plumbers, electricians, factory employees and truck drivers typically are among the middle-class, most of those populating suburbia are accountants, middle managers, sales people, financial consultants, teachers, nurses, writers, etc. In other words, as manufacturing and now building activity contract, more of the middle class is made up of the college-educated in white-collar careers.
Across the economy, the need to cut employment costs (not just payroll, but payroll taxes and benefits) is resulting in mass layoffs of sales people and white-collar office staff. When one considers how much work can be replaced now by accounting software, electronic sales presentations, flatter organizational structures, and “news persons” filing reports for free on the Internet via blogs, it is obvious that vast numbers of middle-class Americans teeter on the precipice of unemployability, not just unemployment.
Is the economic tide sinking middle America?

Are you complying with the Red Flags Rule?
The Red Flags Rule requires many businesses and organizations to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect the warning signs – or "red flags" – of identity theft in their day-to-day operations. Are you covered by the Red Flags Rule? Read Fighting Fraud with the Red Flags Rule: A How-To Guide for Business to:
· Find out if the rule applies to your business or organization;
· Get practical tips on spotting the red flags of identity theft, taking steps to prevent the crime, and mitigating the damage it inflicts; and
· Learn how to put in place your written Identity Theft Prevention Program.
By identifying red flags in advance, you'll be better equipped to spot suspicious patterns when they arise and take steps to prevent a red flag from escalating into a costly episode of identity theft. Take advantage of other resources on this site to educate your employees and colleagues about complying with the Red Flags Rule.

Why We’re Moving to MI

Right now, Detroit is as close as any city in America to becoming a food desert, not just another metropolis like Chicago, Philadelphia, or Cleveland with a bunch of small- and medium-sized food deserts scattered about, but nearly a full-scale, citywide food desert. (A food desert is defined by those who study them as a locality from which healthy food is more than twice as far away as unhealthy food, or where the distance to a bag of potato chips is half the distance to a head of lettuce.)
About 80 percent of the residents of Detroit buy their food at the one thousand convenience stores, party stores, liquor stores, and gas stations in the city. There is such a dire shortage of protein in the city that Glemie Dean Beasley, a seventy-year-old retired truck driver, is able to augment his Social Security by selling raccoon carcasses (twelve dollars a piece, serves a family of four) from animals he has treed and shot at undisclosed hunting grounds around the city. Pelts are ten dollars each. Pheasants are also abundant in the city and are occasionally harvested for dinner.

One of our long-term goals is to acquire a 5-10 acre farm that we can make into a self- sufficient teaching farm!

This is a short one for the week as we’re hoping to depart the desert Saturday, take our time driving and reach MI by Tuesday. Enjoy and feel free to email us as we’ll be checking in during the evening via a wireless connection.

Yours for better living – Bruce ‘The Poor Man’