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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moms - the Original Survivalists

In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular.
Kathy Norris

The Poor Man’s Recession Survival Workshop for MI is scheduled for
February 25 from 1:30-3:30 at Tietz’s Restaurant in Imlay City, MI…lots of resources, prizes, food AND you’ll get the benefit of hearing me speak! To learn more and to sign up, go to our Recession Workshop tab at our website…can’t attend? Learn how to get the handout via email.


Introduction to Batteries- Reconditioning. Part two of an earlier post
Good information and another way to create your own sideline business.

Check out what is going on your area or join & create your own profile…
Simply enter your zip code in the search section & it will display continually updated local stories, blogs and links from over 50,000 news sources.

…For other social networking sites try the one which will PAY you for connecting with old friends – it’s free at:

…Raise funds for your group by promoting this site: or

…Your opinion is valuable to marketers. Use survey sites (legitimate) such as:


Freedom is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear." - Eric Arthur Blair (a.k.a. George Orwell)

Economic freedom in the US has declined in seven of the 10 categories measured in the Index."

That the United States of America was this week demoted from its formerly "Free" categorization by The Heritage Foundation to that of "Mostly Free" should come as no surprise to any semiliterate, moderately contemplative individual. Americans living under the tyranny of a Big Brother-style government hardly needed a Washington-based think tank and a Wall Street Journal to tell them what they don't want to hear.

According to their website, the foundation's Index of Economic Freedom "measures 183 countries across ten specific freedoms such as trade freedom, business freedom, investment freedom, and property rights." This year's publication was the first time in the index's, albeit somewhat brief, 16-year history that the Land of the Free dropped out of the "Free" category. The US now ranks a still respectable 8th on the list, one spot behind Canada and at the head of a group that includes Bahrain, Georgia and Botswana. Perhaps more alarmingly, the nation experienced the steepest decline in score (since last year's index) out of any of the world's largest 20 economies. Poland, Mexico and Turkey enjoyed the biggest advances.


Everyone seems worried about the recent Supreme Court ruling which now
Allows corporations to exercise their right to free speech or a ‘green light to a new stampede of special interest money into politics,” as President Obama put it…what else is new? Corporations have been buying politicians for decades; nothing will really change EXCEPT some politicians may be less inclined to vote on a particular issue if it offends certain corporations (mainly those which are lining his or her pocket).
PAC or political action committees have been doing this for years…want to join me in starting a Poor Man’s PAC?


Obama is finally listening to the Poor Man. I’ve been after him since before
He was elected to focus on jobs and the middle class…”I feel your pain”-sound familiar speech coming.

WASHINGTON – Declaring America's middle class is "under assault," President Barack Obama unveiled plans Monday to help hurting families pay their bills, save for retirement and care for their kids and aging parents. His comments previewed Wednesday's State of the Union Address.

Obama’s State of the Union Speech
Derided by Many

Facing a divided Congress and a dissatisfied nation, President Barack Obama will unveil a jobs-heavy agenda in his State of the Union address Wednesday, retooling his message more than his mission.
His goal: Get the economy, the confidence of voters and his own presidency on surer footing.

Obama's speech will be underpinned by two themes — reassuring millions of Americans that he understands their struggles and convincing people that he is working to change Washington even as he finds himself working within its old political ways.
Obama's proposals won't create jobs, but he said they could "re-establish some of the security that's slipped away." His remarks aimed to lift the nation's dour mood and show he is in touch with the daily struggles of millions of people as resentment runs high about lost jobs and the economy.


>>>Self Protection & Self Reliance Products<<<

MOM – the original survivalist!

My mother and plenty of others, was one of the original Kool-Aid moms in the neighborhood…always had a ton of cookies and other goodies for visitors and kids in the area. Indeed, she invented the TV dinner (always cooked up large roasts and the like and froze the left overs into individual containers for later reheating…she worked part time in the ER of a local hospital & for our family doctor).

The mom’s in our neighborhood had ESP too. They were able to telepathically signal the other mom’s when one of us kids had been up to no good. As soon as I’d walk in the door after some mis-deed – she had THE LOOK and I knew I was in trouble. I never could figure out how she learned of my mischief so darn fast?!

Like other Mom’s she carried a purse the size of an army duffel bag and kept it filled with emergency provisions (1st aid supplies, towels, extra cookies, lock picking tools & extra ammo), and other necessary items for daily survival!

Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Poor Man”

Although it’s too early for Mother’s Day – here’s a salute to all you survivalist mothers…we hope your children learned well.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Smugglers Blues, Emergency Power, Hidden Cost of American Dream

A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain. --Robert Frost (1874-1963)

The Economy must be on the mend because

Since relocating back to the Great Lakes area, where unemployment is rampant, we thought cash would be tight, houses and businesses would be boarded up. However, that isn’t the case. We attended four live auctions in the past month and sales on most items were good or through the roof, and attendance at each auction was high!
Folks were bidding way beyond reason on dozens of lots. If they were dealers, I have no idea how they would make any money because there would be no room for a decent markup and we know that on average, bidding on Ebay is down?! Go figure…the lesson is that no matter what the economy is like, many people still have money and they will spend it.

New Credit Card Rules Could Help-Could Hurt Consumers

Here are some of the Federal Reserve's new rules your credit card issuer must implement under the Credit CARD Act of 2009:
· Issue notices of account modification at least 45 days in advance.
· Increase rates only on new charges you make, while the old rate applies to exiting balances.
· Deliver your credit card bill at least 21 days before your payment due date.
· Only impose interest charges on balances in the current billing cycle; no double-cycle billing.
· Protect consumers under the age 21 by making them show that they are able to make payments, or have a cosigner, in order to open a credit card account.

To make up for these losses, credit card issuers are taking action now, before the act goes into effect: They're hiking APRs, cutting credit limits, changing fixed rates to variable rates for many card holders, eradicating or severely limiting promotional rates and lastly, but most interestingly, introducing new fees.
Are you ready to be charged for getting your printed credit card statement by mail? Well, you should be! reported that numerous retail credit card issuers will begin charging at least $1 to mail your credit card statement to you. In other words, they'll essentially punish consumers who do not, or simply cannot make their payments online.
Visit the Federal Reserve's consumer information site that explains the new credit card rules in-depth.


If you had your life to live over again - you'd need more money.

Home Economics: The Hidden Costs of the 'American Dream'

The downside of the "American Dream" can be pronounced, says James Altucher of Formula Capital.
Owning a home has "never been a great investment," Altucher says, noting housing went up a dismal 0.4% annually vs. 8% for the stock market from 1890 to 2004, according to the Social Security Advisory Board.
Moreover, Altucher says the notion buying a home is a ticket to financial security is a "scam" perpetrated on the American people by corporations seeking to keep us in debt, less mobile and with the storage to purchase all sorts of needless consumer goods. For more of this story, go to:,IYR,XHB,HD,LOW,DHI,PHM

Hadley, MA (Vocus/PRWEB ) January 21, 2010 -- Some "experts" say it costs too much to make your business Green. They claim that cheaters like Bernie Madoff are the ones who get ahead in the corporate world. They say that being nice to customers and even competitors, or providing any amenities, is foolishness.

Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green
Is that any way to run a business? You bet it isn’t Jay Conrad Levinson—originator of Guerrilla Marketing, United's Friendly Skies, and Allstate's Good Hands—and award-winning marketing author/lifelong environmental activist Shel Horowitz team up to prove these naysayers wrong. In their latest book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your


Gee, What has the Poor Man been writing about for over a year!

The White House in the new year already had begun focusing greater attention on the nation's angst and anger over a range of economic issues, including unemployment persisting near 10 percent, government expansion, Wall Street excesses and federal deficits.
Their conclusion was that the economy — jobs specifically and the broader topics of the nation's fiscal and financial health — must be priority No. 1.
The economy and jobs also will be a major theme of Obama's State of the Union address next Wednesday night.

"Freedom is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear." - Eric Arthur Blair (a.k.a. George Orwell)

Distrust the government – oh my, never…

With the start of the nation's decennial census just weeks away, nearly one in five persons might decline to participate in the high-stakes head count, citing mostly a lack of interest but also a broader distrust of the federal government.
A poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center highlighted the challenges as the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to begin its tally in March. The findings come as some groups question whether the agency's $300 million outreach effort is doing enough to reach hard-to-count communities.
Time Honored way of making money in the US – Smuggling

ATF put 250M illegal cigarettes on streets
Many of our Founding Fathers, including John Hancock and more recently John F Kennedy’s father found smuggling a profitable sideline. Kennedy smuggled hootch during Prohibition from England and our government encourages drug smuggling -what young person would want to work at McDonald’s for $7.25 an hour when you can make $100 an hour tax-free pushing dope?
The government encouraged such free enterprise endeavors when it outlawed booze. This allowed a bunch of struggling street theives to get into organized crime in order to smuggle booze and they made a boatload (pun intended) of cash. Of course, a few got killed along the way or as the government would say, collateral damage.
One of the favorite past times of government is that of create-a-crime.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Undercover ATF agents in Virginia have funneled more than 250 million cigarettes onto the nation's streets in the past three years through black market sales targeting smugglers, an Associated Press review has found.
Authorities say the flood of government-provided smokes — a pack and a half for every man, woman and child in New York City, the smugglers' main destination — leads them to organized crime rings and can even cut off financing for terrorists. The stings by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have yielded about five dozen federal arrests, albeit none on terror charges.


Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

SAVE Some Money!
Eat at home – save money & calories
The collapse of at-home cooking tracks closely to obesity rates. Example: Poles typically spend 5% of their family budget eating out while Americans spend 37% (mainly on fast food). You can save a lot of money by eating at home…and calories.
A large coke at a US McDonald’s contains 100 more calories than one in the UK and there is no such thing as a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese in the UK – do you really need a half-pound of meat for lunch? (Of course, in London there are tons of Indian eateries…not my cup of tea).

Get step-by-step instructions for a host of home repairs, (how to replace a car headlight, teach your teen to drive, build a deck, refinish a floor, etc.) from:

Another eBay alternative to try

Top 10 Best Companies to work for – yes, they still exist & offer perks!


Emergency Power Options
From Mother Earth News magazine, by Steve Maxwell

A good electric generator makes your home blackout proof. It’s relatively inexpensive insurance against complete loss of household power. Plus, portable units are convenient when you need electricity beyond the reach of an extension cord.

All generators combine an internal combustion engine with electrical components to create electricity for powering appliances and tools. Choosing a generator involves several key decisions. How much power do you really need? How often do you expect to use it? What level of quality makes sense? What kind of fuel? How will you get the power from the generator to items in your home?

The first thing to consider is generator output. What size is right for your situation? This sounds simpler than it really is because not all items on your wish list are going to be used all the time or at the same time. Also, some appliances require more start-up power than their specified ratings.

Generator output is measured in watts, a unit of power derived by multiplying electrical flow rate (amps) by electrical pressure (volts). One typical household outlet, for example, delivers a maximum of 1,800 watts (15 amps x 120 volts), or the equivalent of a small portable generator. Many people buy a small generator but regret it later because they didn’t understand the basic issues.

The generator I’ve used for the last 20 years has a maximum rated output of 3,500 watts. That seemed like enough when I bought it, but it’s proven barely adequate for emergency backup. By the time the submersible well pump kicks in (1,500 watts at start-up), the basement freezer is running (800 watts) and a few lights are on (100 watts for several compact fluorescents), there’s not much power left for other things. If we want to use the microwave or toaster oven, we have to make sure that most other items are switched off.

There’s also the issue of sustained output. When a manufacturer rates generator output, it usually refers to a maximum, short-term level only. In practice, most generators can sustain only 80 percent of their maximum rating for the long haul.

Any appliance with a motor - a refrigerator, circular saw, drill, water pump or furnace blower - creates what’s called an “inductive” electrical load. This means energy demand skyrockets for the first second or two after start-up. You should allow two or three times as many watts for start-up compared to watts required while running. Heating elements (in stoves, toasters or space heaters), lights and small motors don’t draw significantly more current on start-up. In cases where no wattage consumption figure is stamped on an item, use the “volts x amps = watts” formula. You’ll almost certainly find volt and amp numbers stamped somewhere on an appliance.

As you do the math, you may discover that you want more than 5,000 watts of backup power. If that’s the case, you should consider a stationary generator wired directly into your home’s electrical system. These units are covered by weatherproof shrouds and are ready to kick in either manually or automatically whenever the power goes off. Stationary units cost more than portables, but they deliver more power. Prices for units large enough to run multiple appliances and lights during a blackout range from about $3,000 to more than $10,000.

The quality of power is important, too. Most generators create a specific frequency of alternating current (AC) by precisely governing motor speed — or at least they try to. But in reality, governor engine control is mechanical and pretty crude, especially on cheaper generators. That’s one reason generators typically produce such dirty (irregular) and potentially damaging AC power, filled with lots of high-voltage spikes. But the latest generation of “clean power” generators, often called inverters, takes a different approach.

These generators have a fuel economy feature that tailors engine output speed to electrical load demanded. Traditional generators run full blast, regardless of how much power you need. The engines on today’s best generators run only as fast as needed to create the power required. It’s a smooth, quiet and economical system that’s easier on the environment.

At the other end of the spectrum are less expensive generators with basic engines, no-frills electronics and less than optimal mufflers. These are worth consideration if you’ll only be powering large, simple electrical items such as cooking appliances, water pumps or basic power tools.

Regardless of the amount and quality of power you need, there’s also the question of fuel type. Most portable generators run on gasoline, but there are advantages to propane- and diesel-fueled models, too.

Propane (also called liquefied petroleum gas or LPG) is more expensive than other fuel options when you buy it in small tanks like those used with an outdoor grill. But it’s also more chemically stable than gasoline or diesel. Ordinary gasoline becomes significantly less flammable after several months of storage as key chemicals break down or evaporate. Diesel fuel also is susceptible to degradation by algae growth. You can expect two years of reliable shelf life by adding a conditioner to gas or diesel fuel, but LPG never goes stale, so an LPG system is worth considering if your generator will be used for emergency backup only.

Smaller diesel systems in the 4,000-watt range are now appearing on the market. Diesel engines are harder to start and usually cost more than comparable gasoline motors, but they last longer, especially for continuous use.

Got a tractor? A whole range of PTO-powered (Power Take Off) generators are available, most for medium and large power output. These units aren’t usually designed to put out the kind of clean (regular) power required by sensitive home electronics.

There are two ways to get power from your generator to the place where you need it. Extension cords are easy to use, but limited. You have to run them from outside to indoors, and even then you can only energize items that have a plug-in cord. Powering the blower on your furnace, a household water pump or permanently installed lighting is out of the question. But if you have a generator that puts out 3,500 watts or more, it’s worth creating a connection directly to your household wiring so nearly everything requiring electricity in your home can be used (at least in theory). But there’s a catch: To be safe and legal, any such direct connection must pass through a transfer switch.
This safety device ensures that either your home is connected to the grid or to your generator, but never to both at the same time.

Excerpted from Mother Earth News magazine, the original guide to living wisely. Read the full story at or call (800) 234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright 2008 by Ogden Publications, Inc.


Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Poor Man”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Free eLearning Resources, Hardship Contestants Sought

To get through life, you only need two tools…
Duct tape & WD-40

“Modern life is so hectic-who has time to CC: the feds
on every message you send?’

--on the NSAs plundering & tapping of US citizens
emails and phone calls – Billboard Liberation Front

More Money
With the economy in the shape it is, a lot of people are really scrambling to find extra income. The problem is they can't build a website, don't have time to grow a blog or an email list, and not much to invest in schemes. They don't have time to wade through lots of unnecessary details. You may be in that situation - you need to find something RIGHT NOW!
Long time readers know I sell hard to find books – primarily on eBay. My challenge is finding those books (that’s the reason they’re hard-to-find)…fewer Americans read anymore (one of the reasons why we’ve become ‘dumb and dumber’). But….I could always invest in the commercially available software which would allow me to grab your personal data and sell that private information to the government. There’s big money in this. (*

We sure like computer games, DVDs and other non-print media. Most of the thrift stores I visit now carry more non-book media than books.
Guess it’s time for me to branch out. My problem is, I know next to nothing about video games and the machines used to play them…but I do know they sell well on Amazon and the supply is certainly out there.

Less Money – see postscript at bottom to see how the feds plan to use YOUR 401K

Check out the interesting resources in this issue!

Guide to free e-learning sites

It’s simply astonishing – the number of free online learning sites grows by leaps and bounds. You can take courses on everything from how to use Google to researching and stand-alone university sites such as MIT and Berkley. For a lengthy listing and link database, go to Open Culture or:

Addicted to consuming? New site offers help & resources.

Site makes Craigslist easier to shop…organizes listings by photo for you

New Reality Series Seeking Contestants who need financial assistance!

New Consumer Videos
How to Deal With Debt Collectors from the FTC
Learn how to haggle

Lowest Price isn’t always the best…getting the best from retailers

IRS PDF Guide download for those who do their own taxes-useful and current
I know – taxes are about as much fun as scruffing my cats to clip their nails!
IRS Loosens up with hardship cases – Wall Street Journal report

Labor Department offers grants for Green jobs

See how our government wastes your money by ignoring domestic priorities
Offers citizen and community groups tools and resources to shape federal budget and policy priorities which promote social and economic justice. Includes databases,

Thomas Frank is the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? and One Market Under God. The founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harper’s, he is also The Wall Street Journal’s newest weekly columnist. He’s authored several interesting tomes.


You’ll know the recession is over with when you stop
Counting mail-in rebates as income!

Some 15.7 million Americans are out of work & it doesn’t matter what the economic indicators say…the recession is over with when I get a job!
Zoellick says crisis effects will last for years

BERLIN (Reuters) – The world will likely continue to live with ripple effects from the financial crisis for years, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said on Friday.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Zoellick said the World Bank estimated that a further 64 million people would fall into extreme poverty between 2009 and 2010 as a result of the crisis.
"We continue to see negative fallout from the economic crisis," Zoellick told a news conference in Berlin.


Commentary & News Round-up

*The FBI allegedly broke the law when agents collected more than 2,000 records of domestic phone calls and then tried to get approval for their actions after the fact, Reuters reported. The Washington Post broke the story, using internal bureau memos that detailed how counterterrorism officials inside the FBI did not follow their own procedures, which were put in place to protect civil liberties. A Justice Department inspector general's report due out later this month is expected to conclude that the FBI frequently violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act when agents invoked nonexistent emergencies to collect records.


Corporate & government greed gene pool…

The commercial real estate is a disaster-in- the-making - both for property investors and for the thousands of American banks that are carrying outsized exposure to commercial borrowers…much like many major retailers which have failed, many commercial real estate entities will likely fail this year due primarily to lack of bank lending and plummeting property values.
Fewer retail tenants will contribute to the problem. In many cities, landlords got greedy (what a shock) and raised rents without thought to the consequences.

US banks aren’t lending…but banks in China, India, Viet Nam and other countries are lending AND helping to grow their economy! Meanwhile, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has kicked off its hearings by promising a “thorough examination of the root causes” of the subprime scandal…are you holding your breath?

The banks, which created this mess are making a killing undoing it!

Government jobs are keeping the economy ‘afloat’ for now…most government jobs now pay 20-30% more than the private sector and have maintained generous pensions and other benefits. Government continues to grow; for a list of all the government agencies which exist, go to:
It will shock you!

Here’s an example:
National Institute of Health.The NIH was set up in 1930. It had 140 employees, which seems like more than enough. Today, it has 18,442. The same sort of employee inflation happens at every government level on practically every government project.

The Washington Times notes that $850 million of the stimulus went to buy windmills from foreign companies. It reports that 11 wind farms that got money have imported 695 of the 982 wind turbines, creating about 4,500 jobs overseas! In October, a joint venture of crony U.S. "capitalists" armed with millions of dollars in "stimulus" cash launched a massive wind farm project in Texas using 240 Chinese-made turbines.
When the Times did the math, it came down to hundreds of millions of tax dollars creating the equivalent of 15 permanent U.S. jobs.

While the government continues its growth through ‘spread-the-wealth Obamanomics”, the big problem we all face: Congressional committees are already holding hearings on how the government can "tap" millions of 401(k) retirement funds to stave off the Social Security system's emerging insolvency crisis. I think we all may become a part of the new “pauper class.”

A report last week in Business Week shows that the U.S. Feds have 401(k) assets in their sites.
“The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.

“Annuities generally guarantee income until the retiree’s death, and often that of a surviving spouse as well. They are designed to protect against the risk that retirees outlive their savings, a danger made clear by market losses suffered by older Americans over the last year, David Certner, legislative counsel for AARP, said in an interview.”

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Obama administration are exploring ways to encourage U.S. savers to buy more annuities or investment vehicles composed of “safe” assets. What constitutes safe? Why 30-year U.S. government bonds of course! Thus, the government can encourage people to buy what the Chinese and the Japanese and most other U.S. creditors don’t want to touch any longer.

The trouble with an annuity or 30-year bond is that you get crushed by inflation. In principle, it’s no different than a zero coupon bond.

Rumor also has it that Congress will seek to ban you and I from investing in gold and silver.

According to—a leading producer of real and UNBIASED government statistics—the dollar has lost almost 20% of its international value just in the last 30 months or so-which could easily lead to hyperinflation in this country. This will be especially true if the persistent rumors of China dumping the US dollar come true!


Airline Insecurity & Terrorism

Have you noticed that our Homeland Security department doesn’t seem able to stop terrorists? In nearly every case, it’s been our citizens (passengers), which have thwarted the bad guys. Yet, we don’t see our government being open with the public about such threats…instead, they make the screening process at airports that much more difficult for average citizens.
Every time we blame to government for ‘failing’ to keep us safe, the government treats us like children.
After passengers of Flight 253 deplaned in Detroit, they were held in the baggage area for five hours until FBI agents questioned them. They were not allowed to call family members or even go to the bathroom (even the pilot was told to sit down when he indicated a need to visit mother nature) nor were they given food or water!
The government seems to forget, or is unwilling to admit, passengers and citizens are the best line of defense.

Consumers are squeezed

WASHINGTON – Consumer inflation was tame in 2009, with prices rising 2.7 percent. Yet families felt squeezed as their spending power sank in the face of falling wages, job losses and higher prices for energy, medical care and education.
A surge in energy prices last year offset the biggest drop in food costs in nearly a half century.

The Labor Department said Friday its Consumer Price Index rose a modest 0.1 percent in December. Excluding food and energy, prices were also up just 0.1 percent last month.
A separate department report showed inflation-adjusted weekly wages for the 12 months ending in December fell 1.6 percent — the sharpest decline since 1990. Slack wages and scarce job creation have slowed consumer spending, hindering the economy's ability to mount a strong recovery.
FCC overreach…get your hands off my internet!
The FCC has been trying to control the internet. No thank you! Too many government officials feel there is nothing in the private sector which should go unsupervised…the FCC would like to regulate consumer access to the web in the same way telephone service is controlled (I already pay $14.95 per phone line in stupid government taxes – I don’t need to give them more cash).
It would use its power to stop internet providers from blocking consumer access to legal content and possibly assert itself into pricing…another power grab. What do they think this is – China?
The bad economy is giving new life to an old, dishonorable trade – the scam artists. Scammers are coming out of the woodwork these days. The days when all we had to worry about was the Nigerian investment email scams are over.

An Oregon couple was recently duped by a “mystery shopper” scam that involved being sent money orders they were to use for making mystery shopper purchases, and for being paid. They were told to send the rest of the funds back, via Western Union. The money orders turned out to have been forged, so they actually sent their own money to the scammers.
The Better Business Bureau is seeing an increase in all kinds of scams.

Yours for better living,

From the clandestine, global resources of the Poor Man Network, we hope you’ve enjoyed this issue!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scam-Free Work Sites, Hope n Change, Consumer Resources

The joy of being a cheapskate…live well on less & enjoy it!

Scam-Free Work-From-Home Resources

· Write greeting cards with smaller firms such as Blue Mountain Arts and Oatmeal Studios – earn $10-$500 per verse or drawing. Get started by reviewing writers guidelines at or
· Answer infomercial calls – good for nightowls. Check (click on ‘Become an Agent’)
· Rating search engines & earn cash. Companies will pay you to search certain phrases and then review the text, Web pages and ads. Choose your own hours & make up to $25 per hour. Go to: & click on Careers.
· Customer Service Rep at home. Visit

Other sites you might visit for advice and resources include:

Exchange your gift card for cash
You can sell those unused or unwanted gift cards (up to 85% of their value) at these sites:

From the interesting BootStrapBiz category.
Moms Wear Your Tees:
We do internet advertising and website promotion through
social media marketing. Visit Scarlet’s site to learn more or to take advantage of her friendly, unique service.


The top five Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2009 are:

5. Neighbor sues woman for smoking in her own home;
4. Double-murderer sues to claim his victims' classic Chevy pickup;
3. Holocaust denier sues Auschwitz survivor, alleging memoir contains "fantastical tales;"
2. Tourist sues hotel, claiming swimming pool got daughter pregnant;
1. Illegal immigrants sue rancher who stopped them on his property at gunpoint and turned them over to the Border Patrol.

Links to the news stories about these lawsuits can be found at:


· Employment: Bogus work-at-home job offers and phishing emails that appear to come from employers or job-listing services are some of the scams now targeting the unemployed. Avoid any job that requires you to pay money up front or involves sending money by Western Union or Moneygram. Use caution when posting your resume online and protect your personal information. Don’t click on links sent in e-mails. Ignore requests to do a "credit check" prior to being offered a job. Check out potential employers with the Better Business Bureau. Be suspicious of if an employer uses a common e-mail account such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or MSN instead of a corporate domain, or if the only provided contact information is a PO Box or a number that always goes to voicemail.

· Debt Relief: Be wary of offers to reduce your debt. Be skeptical of any business that asks for money up front and run from those who promise they can repair a bad credit report or that quickly recommend bankruptcy as a solution. If you’re looking for help, it’s important to understand the differences between debt consolidation programs, which may help you pay off your debt, and debt negotiation plans, which can be risky. The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau both provide helpful information about these programs.

· Housing: In this time of rising mortgage rates, desperate homeowners have been lured by offers of assistance – only to be cheated out of equity they’ve built up, tricked into transferring ownership of their home or stuck paying expensive fees for little or no help.
Stimulus Grants: Beware of companies that offer “free” advice on how to get government grants or a stimulus check. Contrary to claims found on many Web sites, the federal government does not award grants to help consumers pay general debt. Some of these Web sites are "phishing" sites designed to steal your personal information. Others enroll you in multiple paid programs. Never provide personal information to someone promising stimulus cash, they’re likely after your money or your identity.
Information about legitimate government grants is available at

· The U.S. Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program Web site: Provides a list of government-approved credit counseling agencies.
· The National Foundation for Consumer Counseling, online or 1-800-388-2227: Provides a list of member agencies.
· Federal Trade Commission’s “Knee Deep in Debt ” publication: Advice for those overwhelmed by debt.
· Grants & other sites:,, and
· Federal Recovery Web site: Official federal site for information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

News Round Up

National Tea Party Convention, scheduled for February 4th-6th, 2010,
includes a special keynote by former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin and
appearances of [4]Michele Bachmann, [5]Marsha Blackburn, [6]Angela McGlowan,
[7]Phil Valentine, [8]Judge Roy Moore and many more.

Fed posts record profit of $46.1B for last year
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve made a record profit of $46.1 billion last year, reflecting money made off its extraordinary efforts to rescue the country from the worst economic and financial crisis since the 1930s, the central bank announced Tuesday.
The windfall gets turned over to the Treasury Department.
It marks the biggest profit on record dating back to 1914 when the Fed was created. The previous record profit -- of $34.6 billion -- was registered in 2007. In 2008, the Fed reported a profit of $31.7 billion.


Report: Freedom in decline for 4th straight year
WASHINGTON – The crackdown in Iran in 2009 highlighted a continuing decline in freedom and rights for the fourth consecutive year, the democracy watchdog group Freedom House reported Tuesday.
The Middle East remained the most repressive region in the world and Africa sustained the most significant decline, the report said after examining political and civil rights in 194 countries and 14 territories.
Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House, cited attacks on front-line democracy activists, including what she said was brutal repression on the streets of Iran. She also pointed to sweeping detention in China of "Charter 08" advocates of expanding freedom and an end to Communist party dominance, as well as the murders of journalists and human rights activists in Russia.


Credit Cards still getting last licks in against consumers before new law takes place in February.

This week’s contrarian political perspective…

Jobless Recovery?!

I’m a bit mystified. How can Wall Street and banks be in the ‘recovery’ process while so many Americans remain out of work? Emergency filings for extended unemployment benefits surged 43% last week…government make-work programs haven’t been very successful in propping up the economy. Since December of 2007, eight million jobs have vanished. Despite President Obama’s promise that 3.5 million new jobs would result from his stimulus plan, small businesses, the engine which really drives the economy, has continued its brakes on hiring…mainly out of fear of what is coming down the pike!

It’s not exactly a surprise but stimulus money has failed to do what is was supposed to do and is probably the worst investment the government has ever made…bankers are still laughing over being in the Congressional “hot seat” over bonuses and they (bankers) have still not stepped up lending to small businesses – the engine which drives employment.

Use of these public funds for public jobs hasn’t really made a dent in the US joblessness picture either. Can you believe it?

Instead of “Hope & Change,” it seems we’re getting more government incompetence.

We are suffering chronic high unemployment despite the greatest government stimulus of all time. The U.S. government has already poured in amounts equivalent to at least 30 percent of GDP. That's over three times more than the stimulus in the first years of the Great Depression ... and TEN times more than the average stimulus during eight U.S. recessions following World War II.

The real unemployment rate in the US stands at about 21.2%

No jobs, means more problems for Social Security. The net inflow into the system has turned negative in recent months…without changes in the system, the fund will run dry soon.
A new job often means a pay cut…

Unemployed for nearly a year, David Becker was relieved to land a new job in information technology last summer.

The offer carried a price, though: It was a lower-rung job than the one Becker had lost. He had to uproot his family from Wisconsin to Nevada. And, like many formerly jobless people who find work these days, Becker is now paid far less than before — $25,000 less.
It's one of the bleak realities of the economic recovery: Even as more employers are starting to hire, the new jobs typically pay less than the ones that were lost.

In the government's data, a job is a job. More jobs point to a growing economy. But to people who used to earn $60,000, a new $40,000 job means they'll spend less — and contribute less to the recovery.

Since the early 1990s, jobs have been slower to recover from recession. After the 2001 downturn ended, job losses continued for nearly two years. It wasn't until 2005 that the job count returned to its prerecession high.
Productivity-enhancing technology and competition from low-wage countries like China made more job losses permanent. And it took time for new jobs to be created and for workers to acquire the skills needed to do them. In the wake of a far deeper recession, creating new jobs and retraining workers to do them could take even longer.

My Politically Incorrect Commentary

Traitors Among Us-Part II. The Public Trust be Damned!

Thieves in High Places!

Two weeks ago I wrote about the anti-American laws and policies that many US Presidents have followed or allowed, George Bush being the worst offender. Pres. Clinton was a close second with his allowance of the transfer of military technology to the Chinese and for the elimination of the law, which allowed Wall Street to become a casino.

Many Congressional members have sold us out too and have plundered the American trust. Many, in the mid-1960s even voted against the Freedom of Information Act and Pres. Johnson had to be dragged kicking and screaming to sign the bill…our thanks to the relentless leadership of Congressman John Moss for single handedly pushing this bill through Congress.

FOIA requests, for the most part, have to rely on court orders to obtain information. The Bush administration subverted FOIA in every way possible to keep his actions secret from the press and public. His Attorney General, John Ashcroft, even went so far as to send a memo to all federal agencies urging them to bring every excuse possible they could think of to turn down such requests.

In 2006, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, received a sentence of eight years in prison -- the longest sentence ever imposed on a member of Congress for his taking of substantial bribes from defense contractors ($2.4 million). He’s not alone, Duncan Hunter of CA also got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. There are many more examples I’d like to share, but space doesn’t permit it.

Buying Congressional influence has become an art form and too many of our so-called representatives are simply bought and paid for by lobbyists. There is a very fine line between campaign contributions and outright bribes, something which is routine in Washington. This is why it is imperative to have term limits.

The thieves from Wall Street who scuttled the economy through their greed and shady practices should be counted among those who are traitors to America too.

These bribes affect both parties and one of the reasons why I say you cannot trust either party to perform for the public good. To learn more about lobbyists, go to:

In September 2005, Tom DeLay was forced to resign as majority leader of the House when he was indicted for channeling contributions to his friends in Texas. When you have more than 35,000 lobbyists in Washington (about 65 for every member of Congress), it’s no wonder there is so much corruption. I’m ashamed of those who have violated the public trust while “serving” the American public. They’re not lawmakers, as the press terms them, they’re lawbreakers!

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Poor Man Bulletin

If you’d like to help those victims in Haiti, I might suggest a contribution to the Red Cross at:

My New Year’s goal is to ween myself off the Frito-Lay diet…tasty, but too much spoileth my figure!

Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Contrarian Poor Man”

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In cheap We Trust, New Ad Outlets,Freebies

"There should be a tax on every man that wanted to get a government appointment, or be elected to office. In two years that tax alone would pay our national debt." --American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)

In Cheap We Trust!

More Shopping Hints to Save Money

Drink tap water. Almost all municipal water in America is so good that nobody ever needs to drink water from Italy or France. Getting the recommended eight glasses a day from bottled water costs as much as $1,400 annually. If you don’t like the taste of your local water, buy a faucet filter or filtering pitcher.

Eat first. This tried-and-true tactic bears repeating. Going to the grocery store hungry is one reason we buy on impulse

Don’t buy toiletries at the grocery store. Make a separate list of toiletries and paper products for the discount stores, such as Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club, where they’ll cost 20% to 40% less.

Check all sources for coupons. Americans saved an estimated $30 billion with manufacturers’ coupons last year. Most of the 278 billion coupons redeemed came from Sunday papers. But it can really pay to check manufacturers’ Web sites, as well as specialty Internet coupon sites, such as DealCatcher ( and CoolSavings (

Also: Take advantage of double- and triple-coupon policies at local supermarkets

Save money by:
--Cut your brillo (scouring pads) in half. You seldom need the entire pad.
--Don’t run your dishwasher; few folks really need that appliance. The exception: run a load after large family get-togethers.

Some other ‘extreme’ tips on saving cash
· Dump your car and use public transportation. An automobile is an expensive item to own and maintain – especially car insurance today. Thanks to government policies, public transportation isn’t always a viable option. If you must continue owning a car, drive it longer (find a good mechanic to keep you auto in good running condition); pay your auto insurance annually or twice a year to avoid ‘billing’ fees.
· Drop any phone company services that you don't need (call waiting, caller ID, three-way calling).
· Drop high speed and opt for dial up. There are several like Netzero that offer cheap dial up.
· Stop eating out; bag your own lunch
· Dump cable TV – most networks offer rehashed, trite crap anyhow.
· Go meatless and/or only buy items on sale for your dinners and be sure to garden in the summertime.
· Freeze your leftovers. Make your own TV dinners; use them in soups & stews
· Practice the art of indoor composting during cold winter months (see:

Send us your best money-saving ideas…even if they’re outlandish (skip the splitting your toilet paper into two sheets – old news). Send to: (tips in subject line)….we’ll send you a PDF of 99 Painless Ways to Save Money.

Consumer Complaints…we offer links to the Attorney General’s Office for all 50 states at our Poor Man site. Here are other resources you might use…or use the RipOffReport site to air your grievances.
Go to the Consumer Help tab at the Poor Site to see updated links for getting consumer revenge.
How to Jump-start a Car Like a Pro
From MOTHER EARTH NEWS, by Troy Griepentrog
If your car won’t start, you may want to jump-start it so you can drive it to a mechanic or recharge the battery. But before you attempt to jump-start a car, you need to determine if the battery is really the problem. If the headlights or other lights still work, the battery isn’t completely dead, and jump-starting may not help. Jump-starting the vehicle is also not the answer if the motor cranks, although the battery may be partially drained if the engine turns over sluggishly a few times.

Before you connect the jumper cables, get ready by following these steps:

1. Park a running vehicle near the car with the dead battery, but not so close that the two vehicles are touching.
2. Put both vehicles in park (or neutral for vehicles with manual transmissions), and be sure both parking brakes are on.
3. Turn off both vehicles and anything that would use electricity: fans, lights or audio equipment.
4. Remove any corrosion from the battery posts (the short metal rods coming out of the battery) or the bolts that attach wires to the battery. Special metal brushes are available for this, but you probably don’t carry one in your vehicle, so do your best to brush or scrape off the corrosion.
5. Check the dead battery for leaks or cracks. If the battery is damaged in any way, don’t try to jump-start the vehicle.
6. If the battery is not the sealed type, pry off the caps (or unscrew them) and make sure the battery has enough water in it. It’s rare to have to add water to modern batteries, but the water level should be up to the bottoms of the holes that the caps fit into. If it doesn’t have enough water in it, add distilled water. Do not try to jump-start the battery if the liquid in it is frozen or the water level is too low.
Car batteries contain acid, so you can get an acid burn if you touch the liquid inside the battery. It will also eat holes in clothing. Wear safety goggles and gloves.

Connecting the Jumper Cables
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should have information on jump-starting (or tell you not to jump-start it). If you can’t find the battery easily, the manual will tell you where to attach the jumper cable clamps.

Don’t allow the clamps to touch each other while you are connecting them to or disconnecting them from the batteries.

Batteries create hydrogen, which can build up and, if ignited, explode. (Do not smoke while jump-starting a vehicle.) When an electrical circuit is being closed, there is a possibility of creating a spark.

This procedure for connecting jumper cables minimizes sparks near the batteries:
1. Connect one red clamp to the positive (+) post of the dead battery.
2. Connect the other red clamp to the positive post of the good battery.
3. Connect one black clamp to the negative (-) post of the good battery.
4. Connect the other black clamp to bare, clean metal away from the battery of the dead car.

Brackets or bolts on the engine are usually good places to connect the clamp, but check the owner’s manual for suggestions.
Most jumper cables have red and black clamps, but if your set uses different colors, that’s OK. If you have cables with yellow and black clamps, for example, replace the word “red” in the above instructions with “yellow.”

Before starting either vehicle, be sure the jumper cables won’t be damaged by moving parts (fans, belts or pulleys) when the cars are running. Close vehicle doors so dome lights don’t draw power.

Run the engine of the vehicle that starts for about three minutes. Then try starting the vehicle with the dead battery. After it starts, disconnect cables in reverse order from when you connected them and drive the car for about 30 minutes to charge the battery — if you turn it off before the battery charges, you’ll have to jump-start it again. The other option is to drive it to a mechanic who can check it over or charge the battery for you.
If the vehicle doesn’t start after a few tries, give up; you may have a different problem. Disconnect the cables in reverse order.

Excerpted from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, the Original Guide to Living Wisely. To read more articles from Mother Earth News, please visit or call 800-234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright 2009 by Ogden Publications Inc.


Are Americans Really Free? Terrific book by Edward de Bono
I have several copies of this book available by the author best known for his thinking courses. These are new hardbound editions and priced at only $1.95

Tired of Paying Fees To Sell Your Items?

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>>>another new, free advertising resource to try, Free Classified Ad Site to Compete with Craigslist and eBay


Citizen Preparedness category has been added to the Poor Man Site
Some of these useful resources and sites are included in the Poor Man II CD ROM and have been available as a download to our subscribers. Now, I’ve added a new tab (Citizen Preparedness) to the site, which offers links to FEMA and other resources. If you offer related information, drop me an email and we’ll include a link to your site, blog, etc.

Other Poor Man news of note…we’re getting closer to offering our first Recession Survival Workshop here in the ‘Thumb” of Michigan. I’ve been gathering localized resources to assist folks in the areas of job hunting, saving money, getting medical care and emergency assistance and more. Within a few weeks we’ll be posting the details on our site. If you’re interested in attending or offering resources, let me know.

Finally, request your free copy of What You Need to Know About Native American jewelry, buying-selling gold and silver. I wrote this awhile back for my fellow dealers and it contains useful information about conversion tables (grams and ounces, etc.) for silver and gold. It’s in a PDF format and is only 7-pages. Send me an email with the word “Turquoise” in the subject line.


The most overrated [political concept] is freedom. When faced with economic uncertainty, people don't want freedom. When they can't see their economic future, they want the nanny state." --John McLaughlin, of 'The McLaughlin Group'

News Roundup…all is not well in the land of OZ

Pump prices on pace to top 2009 high by weekend
Open your wallet: Gasoline prices headed past 2009 highs by this weekend
The cost of filling up the car is rising in the wake of soaring crude and by this weekend, pump prices will race past the highs for all of 2009.
Tracing the ascension of crude, up 14 percent since mid-December, energy prices across the board are catching up. On Tuesday, benchmark crude prices closed higher than they had on any day last year.

It's part economic and part meteorologic.
Vicious pockets of cold stretched from the Northeast to the South, where farmers in the Florida panhandle tried to save tomato and strawberry crops. Four deaths in Tennessee were blamed on low temperatures.

The frigid blast has squeezed heating oil supplies in some areas during a year when demand had been very weak and refineries have been operating at low levels.
Huge surpluses have been falling in recent weeks, contributing to prices already driven higher by the falling dollar. When the dollar falls, investors holding stronger currency can essentially buy more dollar-based crude and they have, doubling oil prices last year.

State Tax Revenue in U.S. Drops Most Since 1963, Study Says
The Poor Man Predicted earlier last year this would occur along with a prediction that states ( & the feds) will be seeking new revenue sources…mainly from you!
Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. state tax collections fell the most in 46 years in the first three quarters of 2009 as the recession shrank revenue from sources including personal income, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government said.

Revenue dropped 13.3 percent, or $80 billion, compared with the same nine months of 2008, to $523 billion, the institute said. Collections in the third quarter alone sank 10.9 percent to about $162 billion, according to the report released today by the Albany-based body. It was the fourth straight quarterly decline. The institute is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York.

The first three quarters of 2009 were the worst on record for states in terms of the decline in overall state tax collections, as well as the change in personal income and sales tax collections.

The worst economic slump since the Great Depression has forced states to cut spending, raise taxes and pass down costs to local governments to cope with $193 billion of combined budget deficits in the current fiscal year, according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report issued last month…

58% Say Congress Doing A Poor Job

Voters feel more strongly than ever that Congress is performing poorly and that most of its members are in it for themselves.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters now say Congress is doing a poor job. That's the highest negative finding since Rasmussen Reports began surveying on the question in November 2006.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 12% of voters believe Congress is doing a good or excellent job, the lowest total since the first of February last year.
Forty-three percent (43%) of all voters say most members of Congress are corrupt, the highest level of belief since we began asking this question in June 2008. By comparison, just 32% say most congressmen are not corrupt, but that's the lowest level of confidence in over 20 months. Twenty-five percent (25%) remain undecided.
Another new low is the number who say most members of Congress are more interested in their own careers than in helping other people.

Democratic Payoffs, Er, Stimulus
Creators Syndicate – When a non-American scholar I admired let slip a casual reference to "American corruption" a few years ago, my chauvinistic pride was wounded. This isn't Mexico, after all, or even Italy, where bribes are the normal social lubricant. Still, an unsentimental examination of government dollars at work seems to confirm my friend's observation.

A small example: The U.S. government has announced plans to spend $340 million on an advertising campaign to promote the Census, including $2.5 million for ads during the Super Bowl. Though the nation has been collecting this data for 220 years, it seems we now need commercial jingles to complete the forms. Or could there be another agenda? The government, reports The Hill newspaper, will target $80 million of those dollars to racial and ethnic minorities and non-English speakers — groups that vote disproportionately Democratic. Nor will Democrats permit efforts to limit the count to those here legally. An effort by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., to exclude illegal aliens from the count went nowhere.
Illegal aliens don't (usually) vote, of course. But when they are counted in the Census, they do affect representation in the Congress. So some of the money you pay in taxes will go toward increasing the legislative clout of one party.

Bad News for Abusive Credit Card Companies and Mortgage Lenders Who Bennett Wants to Protect
Washington, DC – Americans United for Change stands dumfounded as to why Republicans would try to block basic financial accountability in the form of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would prevent the abuses and deceptive practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders we are all too familiar with now.
Bush to be tried for War Crimes?
Good chance" that special counsel John Durham will recommend prosecuting Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Bush Administration officials for torture and other war crimes, concluding an inquiry Attorney General Eric Holder appointed him to complete.
Last week on FOX News' "The Journal Editorial Report," Wall Street Journal staffers discussed predictions for the New Year:

Paul Gigot: And a big wild card this year, the special counsel that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint to look into whether the CIA and Bush administration officials should be indicted for their antiterror policies. If he indicts–recommends indicting some of those, you're going to see a fire storm.

Dorothy Rabinowitz: There's a good chance he'll make that recommendation.
Deputy U.S. Attorney John Durham was originally chosen by the Bush Administration to investigate the destruction of CIA tapes. Attorney General Eric Holder recently expanded his role to include the investigation of Bush-Era interrogation techniques.

That’s it for this week’s Bulletin. As always, feel free to send me your tips and suggestions…we’re all in this together!

Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Poor Man” Stay Warm out there! Forward this Bulletin to a friend!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10 Things Still Selling-10 That Are Not

“Prosperity is just around the corner!”--Bart Simpson

What’s Still Selling During the Recession?

This is an unscientific cross section of what I see that is still selling well…

1. Entertainment items – RedBox, Netflix and the $2 movie theaters, escapism oriented products including liquor.
2. Electronics – no matter what, the latest Ipods, computer games, cell phones and related goods still sell…don’t know where they get the cash, but the stuff still sells.
3. Bargain food stocks, long term storage foods
4. Guns, ammunition and related items.
5. Gold and silver – coins and bullion
6. High end or unique antiques which are offered for far less than two years ago
7. Green related items including eco-friendly business franchises.
8. Discount coupons have done well on eBay-diapers & baby items, etc.
9. Social networking sites have flourished (a misnomer in my opinion)
10. Alternative energy resources. Energy-saving devices.

Although not in my top ten, I believe more alternative health products are selling as folks lose medical insurance…holistic items often make some dubious, untested claims but still sell because they ‘offer’ a low cost alternative to high-priced traditional treatments. In many cases, prices for alternatives are just as a high or higher!

What not to buy in the coming year…
Ten years ago, most homes relied on dial-up connections to access the Internet and iPods, flat-screen TVs and the Nintendo Wii didn't exist.
More from• 10 Ways to Save Money in 2010• How to Outsmart Retailers in Post-Holiday Sales• Cheap Netbooks: Bad for Business?
In 2010, consumers should expect to see more revolutionary products supplanting old mainstays. In media, DVDs, books, newspapers and magazines will continue to lose ground to services like in-home movie rentals and gadgets like the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle. In big-ticket items, the push for energy efficiency will continue to influence consumer decisions on cars and home upgrades.
As a result, some consumer products appear poised for a dip in sales, which could be a prelude to obsolescence. Here are 10 items not to buy in 2010.

Interesting Resources

Top Trait an Employer Looks for in an Interview-Can You Guess Which?
--technical know-how
--advanced degree
--people skills
If you guessed people skills, you were correct. According to a survey by AccountTemps.

Grab a vet visit for $5
Unsure if your pet problem warrants an expensive vet visit? Use board certified vets at:
Simply type in your question & a vet will respond within a few hours or less or try: for a personalized diagnosis.

Need Cash? The Poor Man has written previously about using gold & silver dealers you can trust and we’ve purchased a lot of gold and silver over the past few years. Use this site for a trustworthy source for selling your gold and silver…The Silver & Gold Exchange.

Free Gold Report/buying Course (sign up necessary)

Quick n Easy Drain Cleaner--
Drop 3 denture cleaning tablets down your drain followed by a cup of vinegar (you can use baking soda too). After the bubbling stops, pour some boiling water down the drain.

Use Cola to…--
Unclog a drain; pour 3 cups of warm cola into your drain and let it sit overnight. In the morning, rinse with hot water.
--Clean your car chrome; simply use a scouring pad and cola
--Tenderize a roast in a crock pot and give the meat some flavor – just pour a 12-oz can in with your roast and lit your crock pot do the rest.

ToolzDoToolzDo is similar to but with more of an emphasis on trading in neighborhoods. It is not just a market for free stuff, but lists items and equipment for rent, swap, and sale as well. For example, if you're looking for a digital camera, you can search and see a combined result of rental, swap, and giveaway options to choose from. And if you can't find exactly what you're looking for, you can post a wanted ad. You can also post ads for whatever you wish to sell or give away. ToolzDo doesn't have the community size of other sites, but it is definitely one to keep an eye on. ToolzDo even offers free resources and guides for small-business owners, rental professionals, and nonprofit organizations looking to make a little extra cash on the site.

Top 10 Political Scandals of 2009 (that was all?) Read it here.


As Americans figure out that jobs aren’t coming back…

The underground economy is growing. As a recent Washington Post article complained, barter among private citizens has become the "new national past-time." It notes that this ancient form of commerce has mushroomed on Internet sites such as and, which is reporting an 80% surge in bartering activity.,, and are also flourishing as Americans seek refuge in an increasingly lousy business and job environment. (The Obama Administration has already issued decrees regulating neighborhood garage sales - not a joke). Create your own community currency plan as a back-up – see our poor man site for details.

Watch for the strong possibility of “Banking Holidays,” whereby your funds might be ‘frozen’ and no access via ATMs.

There’s a growing concern over the potential for new emergency laws which could rob you of your 401K plan by cash-hungry government…gold purchases and/or ownership might be curtailed – it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened in our history!

Is Rome Burning?
If you've read the book, "Empire of Debt," (See below to get this book) then you know where the U.S. is headed financially. But most people have no idea about the ultimate financial consequences of decades of borrowing and spending by Washington, and they remain irrationally convinced that the status quo will remain intact for eternity. No one in any position of authority, you see, has yet admitted that the U.S. government is indeed going bankrupt.
Until now, that is.

In a remarkable paper posted by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis, and authored by a Boston University teacher named Prof Kotlikoff, it is revealed in blunt, powerful language that the era of borrowing and spending without consequence may soon come to a close. The paper, entitled, Is the United States Bankrupt?, may not remain posted for very long once the public gets word of what it actually says.

Be sure to get your copy of the Poor Man’s Underground Recession Survival Guide, it contains our “45 Ways to Make a Living-Without a Job” and our site includes links to legitimate barter sites and how-to material.

Order your PDF version of Empire of Debt by Bill Bonner for only $2.95 (no postage) – I will send you the file upon payment – use your PayPal account and my
For a full description of this & other books we offer, go to:

“What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never
be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can
surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of
the members are poor and miserable.”
--Adam Smith

What useful purpose does the US government serve?
What’s the definition of a traitor?

Outside legal spheres, the word "traitor" may be used to describe a person who betrays (or is accused of betraying) their own political party, nation, family, friends, ethnic group, team, religion, social class, or other group to which they may belong. Often, such accusations are controversial and disputed, as the person may not identify with the group of which they are a member, or may otherwise disagree with the group leaders making the charge.

Article III Section 3 delineates treason as follows:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
“Whoever is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."

In my book, several US presidents would make likely candidates for treason. These men are guilty of allowing transfers of massive wealth to our enemies (by not getting us off our oil dependence) or by allowing the transfer of military technology to China or by allowing the law which had been on the books for 80-years which kept Wall Street from becoming a casino with our money and subsequently destroying our economy (not one person from Wall Street is doing any prison time as I write this).

President’s who have not stopped illegal immigration; allowed toxic Chinese goods to be sold in this country (you can’t buy a good Cuban cigar, but we’re allowed to buy tainted children’s goods and pet foods); have duped America into participating into countless undeclared wars (something that is reserved for Congress to declare); have allowed massive, warrantless surveillance on its own people; allowed usury laws to go by the wayside…we’ve been poorly served and solidly tried in this country.

None Dare Call it Reason

Our dysfunctional Congress has been derelict in its duties, especially in regard to keeping Presidential power in check…George Bush, in particular, violated so many areas of the Constitution, he’s at the top of my list for rendering almost useless, the three branches of government and the system of checks and balances our forefathers created.

Congress has passed so many anti-citizen laws, it’s tough to keep track of them. The Patriot Act, in particular defies common sense. Have any of these efforts stopped terrorist acts? Mostly, they injure everyday citizens. Search & Seizure laws, another wasted effort, which has materialized to be another money grab by the government and often, as courts have determined, an excuse to kill innocent citizens and/or to unlawfully grab their property. (See below for one of the worst ideas proposed by our current President concerning our military)

The government has many more citizen-bashing laws forthcoming (40,000 new laws went in effect Jan 1st regulating everything from garage sales to smoking – we are the most heavily regulated society in history). I feel the purpose isn’t to fight crime, but to exert even more control over citizens and to squeeze more money from them.

Citizens learn it's smarter to keep their heads down and keep their mouths shut, lest they attract attention from regulators or other authorities who could ruin them if given the chance.

Other examples include the new Bankruptcy Act signed by Bush – written primarily by greedy credit card companies; the new passport laws, intrusive health laws, and more. After all, our court system, like most federal agencies, which make laws without legislation, have become just another taxation authority.

As I write this, federal bureaucrats are trolling through popular social networking sites on the Internet looking for malcontents (as reported last month by the New York Times).

Ronald Reagan said it best: America's problems are not caused by the people living too well, but because the government is living too well.

So I ask you, what useful purpose does our government have? It certainly doesn’t seem to serve the American people. Instead, it serves corporate masters.

Keep America Safe (From Politicians)!

Recommended Reading

Example of how government no longer serves the people…

Obama mulls making vets foot bill for service injuries

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration is considering making veterans use private insurance to pay for treatment of combat and service-related injuries. The plan would be an about-face on what veterans believe is a long-standing pledge to pay for health care costs that result from their military service.

“Nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice?" – Pres. Obama
(the proposal has been dropped…for now)

When the People Are Well Informed
December 31, 2009 by Bob Livingston
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point—150 years ago or more—the American public went to sleep.
While we (I use this as a collective, all-encompassing ‘we’) slept robbers, thieves and liars invaded our House—that is the White House and Congress. They’ve been there ever since.
They stole our money. They stole many of our freedoms. They lied about their motives. They lied about their goals. And still we slept.
If we happened to awaken for a short time and notice the robbers, thieves and liars, we’d squeak and squawk. We’d throw a hissy fit. Occasionally we’d even vote a few of them out of office. For more, go to:

Lost Rights by James Bovard
Independents Day or War on the Middle Class by Lou Dobbs
Nemesis by Chalmers Johnson

Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Contrarian Poor Man”