Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources
In This Issue:
· Build your own bicycle generator
· New Poor Man You Tube videos
· Dirt cheap housing
· Extreme Frugality
· More Privacy Protection tips
· A Race to the Bottom-guest commentary
Let’s rescue our debt-laded economy with...yes, you guessed it...with more debt!
Does anyone know of a land we can buy, takeover or claim?
This was a question the Poor Man recently responded to and it mirrors not only a national frustration with the cost and intrusiveness of government here but around the world. It’s just not the US, which is squeezing its citizens but most countries are doing so as well from Great Britain where spy cams outnumber citizens to repressive taxes in countries such as Greece.
Put bluntly, most of us can no longer afford our governments.
A number of years ago I recall hearing about a group which planned to assemble enough like-minded folks, who were fed up with our backstabbing political parties, to take over the state government of a small state such as Vermont or Delaware. They estimated they needed about 20,000 people.
Never heard anything else about them.
Two hundred years ago when folks were frustrated by governments, they set sail for the ‘new world’ and claimed some land. No such luck to day as everything has been claimed! Short of purchasing a used ocean liner and living in International waters, I’m unsure what we could do.
The bottom line-most of us are fed up with the control freaks in Washington!
More on DIY toilets…a few issues back we wrote about making your own composting toiled for about $50 vs. more than $800 for commercial models. According to subscriber Margaret, you can also use wood shavings instead of sawdust and in some areas, this might be easier to find especially from retailers selling horse related goods.
Further, you can buy a ready-made chemical toilet from any RV place with a nice base for about $200 and the chemicals you add turn the waste into something that smells like bubble gum which can be disposed of easily in a regular toilet, RV park, etc. You can probably find a used one at a garage sale or on Craigslist.
Thanks for the tip and we’re sending you a new Disaster Preparedness how-to DVD. Your suggestions and tips are welcome. If we use them you’ll get one of the Books or CDs we sell…to keep up with the items we sell, go to: www.oldbooknook.com
Finally, the Poor Man has his first YouTube video promoting our site. If you’d like a video made, send us an email…essentially all that is needed is your website & a few basic questions. You can view the videos at:
or on our site at the About Us tab.
Odds n Ends
Keep your seed stash fresh
Got left over vegetable or plant seeds? Store them in your freezer until next year…just use an airtight container or ziplock bag. I did that for this year’s planting and everything sprouted just fine. I’m saving seed stock from our peppers and melons in this manner too. Freezing your popcorn works well too as it keeps it from drying out!
Go Generic and Save Thousands
Still hesitant to go generic? Chew on this: Research suggests the average consumer can save anywhere from $200-$1,500 per year by purchasing generic products. While you may not want to subject your family to store brand cheddar or no-name beer, there are plenty generic products out there that are just as good as the real thing.
More Ways to Find Bargains Online
When searching for a product on the web, get the best price by using this Offer Assistant which matches results within a large database of online coupons. Details at:
Making Your Own Bicycle Generator-Defeat the fat!
Since the Poor Man stopped smoking he’s packed on 20 lbs – not a good thing so he got a stationary bicycle. After seeing a woman at the post office whose calf was bigger than my wife’s waist and seeing a NBC special on obesity in America…I had to give some thought to ending my Frito-lay diet and to increasing my calorie burning activities.
As I was pedaling I started thinking about producing some electricity along with the calorie burning…so here you go!
Yes, you can make energy with a bicycle. But it's unlikely to save you any money, because it generates such a tiny amount of electricity versus the cost of the setup. And it might not even be green energy, once you consider the energy that's used to produce your fuel (food).
A typical bike generator can produce 100 watts. If you pedal for an hour a day, 30 days a month, that's (30 x 100=) 3000 watt-hours, or 3 kWh. Since the average cost of U.S. electricity is 12¢/kWh, that one month of pedaling saves you $0.36. Congratulations. If the system cost $400, it would take only 93 years to pay for itself.
And that's before we consider the cost of food. If you're overweight, like most Americans, then you can consider your biking energy "free" since you could be burning fat. Likewise, if you ride the exercycle instead of doing some other kind of exercise that you were going to do anyway, then the cost of your energy is also free. But if you're not overweight and not exercycling instead of some other exercise, then you'll be buying more food to fuel your effort. Since it takes about 1 calorie to produce 1 watt-hour of electricity, your month of pedaling would require 3000 calories. Go here to get the plan along with other plans offered.
THE dirt cheapest house built with used tires & cans.
Energy Efficient - Off the "grid" - Comfortable
The Poor Man has found there is cheap housing in MI, usually confined to Detroit or Flint. Vacant land or farms however, remain higher in price than acreage in NM, west Texas or Northern AZ…what 7-14 acres costs here, we could buy 40 or more acres in those western states I just mentioned.
Of course, when you find some land, in our case it looks like 3-4 acres, we have to look at what kind of cheap housing we can build or buy. We’ve found nearly every modular home builder in the area has gone out of business. So here are a few areas we’re looking at and thought we’d share them with you…some are mighty interesting.
Houses made from shipping containers-the Ocean going kind!
Green Geodesic Domes
Natural Spaces Domes has been building "green" geodesic dome homes since we started building domes in the 1970's. Green Domes
Our government is the bane of privacy for its citizens
The Poor Man has frequently written about maintaining your privacy in a country hell-bent on its destruction though the BS named “Un-Patriot Act” FICO, RICO, FINCEN, and other unconstitutional acts.
The FBI loves its new ability to perform warrantless searches (hey, why bother respecting what had been the law) and covert surveillance of US citizens. The worst element under the un-Patriot Act is how financial institutions file suspicious activity reports whenever you deposit large cash amounts. Try purchasing money orders from the post office in amounts exceeding $3000 and you are turned in to the IRS and other government agencies…you can’t carry $5000 on your person at an airport if you’re leaving the country (why do you think that RFID thread is embedded into our currency)…your banker will turn you in if anything appears suspicious and your accounts can be frozen.
If you’re serious about protecting your privacy from snoops, here are a few tips we offer:
· Use disposable cell phones & buy them with cash; get rid of them once finished.
· Use disposable credit cards paying for them and loading them with cash
· Never open a PO Box at a government post office
· Never open a safe deposit box account at a bank
· You cannot mail large amounts of cash, gold or silver to other countries
· Never assume your mail is safe. The government has plenty of ways to snoop into your mail without technically violating your Constitutional rights
· Information stored on your computer hard drive is never safe even if you think you’ve deleted files.
· Buy disposable calling cards using cash and use a public phone, then dump the card
· Avoid completing offers for any kind of credit card-the government can collect information on any of your credit card purchases.
· Never file your IRS returns electronically
· You can still open a foreign bank account but anything over $10,000 must be filed with your annual tax return…Big Brother doesn’t like too much cash in the hands of private citizens…might be better off opening an off-shore corporation.
For any financial dealings offshore, you should consult with a qualified CPA as the laws change rapidly and they are seldom in your favor.
The new “99 club” more than 1.4 million people have become members of the “99ers club” – people who have been out of work for 99 weeks or more and have exhausted their unemployment benefits.
How far would you go to save a buck in today's tumultuous economy? People are finding more ways than ever before to scrimp and save. But some take it to extremes.
Read on as expert penny pinchers detail six bold ways to cut costs -- and in some cases, generate a little revenue -- during tough economic times. Are you extreme enough to give them a try? More at:
ONLY IN AMERICA
We are the only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies. Imagine if we gave ourselves the same support that we give other countries. I feel bad for them, but I wonder who cares about America?
Micro-finance: Let's get it going in U.S.
I am part of a philanthropic group of women now making micro-finance capital and support available. We focus on women and children who are entrepreneurs. And, we leverage our membership of more than 300 women as a community of support.
One inspiration to get this new effort going is the story of the Tile Lady. She had worked for many years as a tile layer for a small business. She does fabulous work. Then her employer, the tile business, closed.
How could she continue to use her skills? Get beyond unemployment? How about starting a small business as a tile layer?
The Tile Lady needed to buy her own tile cutter for about $750. She did not have a positive credit history or savings. None of the lending institutions’ she approached would help her to get started…more at: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/making-change/2010/aug/4/micro-finance-lets-get-it-going-us/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_world-news
In these recessionary times, financial tips are flowing fast and furious about how to save money and stick to a budget. Facing a sea of information many people are asking, "Where do I start?" For most of us, five areas of spending will consume over 50% of the money we earn during our lifetime, so that's the best place to begin.
The five areas are: Home, car, children, education and retirement. Here's what you need to know about each: http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-110224-6192-1-5-expenses-that-consume-50-of-your-lifetime-earnings?ywaad=ad0035
NOTE: The article ignores taxes, which most financial planners tell you seriously wound wealth preservation strategies.
Recipes don't have to be complicated to be delicious. Check out QuickMeals and learn celebrity chefs' secrets for preparing fast and easy weeknight recipes.
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I was once asked by a lady visiting if I had a gun in the house. I said I did. She said 'Well I certainly hope it isn't loaded!' To which I said, of course it is loaded, it can't work without bullets!' She then asked, 'Are you that afraid of someone evil coming into your house?' My reply was, “No not at all I am not afraid of the house catching fire either, but I have fire extinguishers around, and they are all loaded too”.
Race to the Bottom-Guest Blog
By Eric Cromer — Working America Member, Ohio
The new global economy has become a “race to the bottom” to see which nation is capable of producing the greatest quantity of products with the lowest paid workers. As manufactures save dollars with a non-domestic workforce, the American consumer has seen a steady rise in basic costs for housing, education and health care. American employers and corporations are finally paying the price for their poor decisions, with the highest recorded level of workers who are dissatisfied with their jobs. I have to admit, I’m hardly surprised. Read the rest of this at: http://www.workingamerica.org/blog/2010/08/06/race-to-the-bottom/
Make Your Own Energy
Step-by-step guide reveals how to
make your own energy for $100 or less. http://tinyurl.com/PMEnergy
Terrific site for resources and green, eco-friendly goods http://www.growandmake.com?ref=71
Don’t Get Caught With Your Pantry Down – the all time best book on family preparedness has been updated & now includes an online video segment as well. Highly recommended 11th Edition. http://tinyurl.com/PMBasics
If you follow the financial news you’ve probably made note of the various crisis in nations such as Greece, Portugal, Brazil and others. When the Euro tanked, our dollar did better but that masks the ultimate debt crisis this nation faces. As I write this, Congress just passed what is essentially a $27 billion bail out for several states who face insolvency…CA and NY and IL coming in a close 3rd.
These funds will be “printed’ from thin air, nothing to back them and ultimately leading to an inflationary spiral. The US debt crisis will always be worse than Europe because of our huge military empire (we have troops in 142 countries). We also have massive debt problems which are somewhat hidden in states and municipalities. Recently, Williamsburg, PA declared bankruptcy and San Diego (the 9th largest city) is attempting to stave off a bankruptcy by restructuring its debt…everyone likes going to Uncle Scam with their hands out!
As of 8/4…
WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Wednesday overcame Republican opposition and cleared the way for a $26 billion measure to help states ease their severe budget problems and save the jobs of tens of thousands of teachers and other public employees.
Keep in mind, Uncle Scam really doesn’t have the cash to help and countries like Greece and Portugal are smaller than many US states.
Soon, the markets will focus on the American financial mess, wondering why we’re still spendthrifts and cannot get our financial house in order…why the continued need for such a massive military while our infrastructure and jobs are tanking and therefore, unsupported (through taxes) by its population. When Uncle Scam no longer has the bucks to bail out states and cities, our dollar will really tank and who knows how long that will take.
There are a few things, which could change the picture dramatically and quickly…OPEC dumps the dollar, we invade Korea or Iran, a major terrorist attack within our borders. China stops buying our debt or decides to use one of its new Aircraft Carrier sinking missiles it’s developed on one of ours (I’ve always maintained the Chinese cannot be trusted)…it’s a murky world out there folks…be prepared!
Yours for better living, the Poor Man movie mogul!
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