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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Share Some Sugar, Middle Class Woes

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources

In This Issue:

Short essays on decline of middle class
Girl Scouts dumping its American supplies in favor of China?
This week’s resources
Nat’l Buy Nothing Day & ShareSomeSugar

“Every friend of freedom must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence."
-- Milton Friedman
(1912-2006) Nobel Prize-winning economist, economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, "ultimate guru of the free-market system

Even the Chinese want the Poor Man

On a somewhat bizarre note…the Chinese are known for their expropriation of technology secrets, but stealing the Poor Man too? The Poor Man Survival name is trademarked and we paid for its domain and several variations but I got a letter from the non-profit group in China which is responsible for domains in that country and it seems a business there is attempting to register our names…what will they want next-my ex-wife?

Speaking of China, news reports have that the Girl Scouts are contemplating placing all future uniform orders with a Chinese company vs. the New Jersey firm which has supplied them for the past ten years. If that happens, everyone we know is going to stop buying their cookies…enough already of shipping America to China!

With the hoopala surrounding the coming elections, a reader asked me why I haven’t run for office. Well fellow Romans…I once considered a career in politics after serving as a young volunteer for Cong. Chas Vanik (D) [now deceased] of Ohio and was told I should get involved with the ‘party.’

Being young, my ambition at the time was to emulate the writer Hemingway and lead a life of adventure, hard drinking and women while writing novels…that never happened either, but I did serve as a city councilman for a spell. Beside, the Poor Man has enough skeletons in his closet that the press and pundits would have had a field day with my past escapades.

Borrowing beats buying or so states a new online community of folks seeking to share or borrow items rather than buy them…everything from ladders to carpet steamers. Their site suggests how users can create a sharing group. Check it out at:

November 15th is America Recycles Day and November 26th is Buy Nothing Day, a reminder to turn away from mindless shopping and tune into life.

This week’s odds n ends

Google Patents

Are you a tinkerer? An inventor? Maybe deep down inside there's a mad scientist, just screaming to get out! Well, whatever the case, Google is here to make sure that an idea you've come up with hasn't already been patented.

Here's how to get to it:

Browse to, and in the upper left-hand corner you'll see a list of filters (Web, Images, Videos, etc.) – click more. A drop-down list with more options will appear. Go to the bottom and click the even more>> option.
The next page that appears is chock-full of Google goodies, but the option we're looking for is on the left side about a third of the way down the list. It's called Patent Search.

Now, simply type the name or description of your invention into the search box and Google will look through over 7 million patents to see if anyone has beaten you to the punch!

You can also click the Advanced Patent Search link to the right of the search box and input other criteria like patent number, inventor and more!

WinUtilities Free Edition

I'm always looking for new products that will clean junk from my computer. As a result, after repeatedly installing new junk removing software, more junk accumulates. While I have kept, and still use, several other utilities, none seem to clean as thoroughly as WinUtilities. Most maintenance software misses or ignores certain items, including WinUtilities, but this one seems to find and correct more problems than any of the others. It also includes more features than any I've tried.

Turn your old electronics into cash
Sell you iPods, cellphones, printers & computers - trade them in for gift cards or a check. Here are a few more resources to use:

Free Samples-USA

More free stuff via daily deals

Get free groceries-click on your state

Kellene Bishop’s an NRA instructor & training pro-check her blog

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The Era of Big Government is Over!
--1996 William Jefferson Clinton
Aka: Slick Willie

Some mini-essays on the decline of America’s middle class, national suicide & how Washington is destroying the USA…

Deception has been the key to
Success for the globalists

America's Middle Class Has Become Globalization's Loser
By Gabor Steingart
At the beginning of the 21st century, the United States is still a superpower. But it's a superpower facing competition from beyond its borders as well as internal difficulties. Its lower and middle classes are turning out to be the losers of globalization.

Editor's Note: The following essay has been excerpted from the German best-seller "World War for Wealth: The Global Grab for Power and Prosperity" by SPIEGEL editor Gabor Steingart. SPIEGEL ONLINE is publishing a series of daily excerpts from the book.

There are essentially three exclusive characteristics whose simultaneous development have served as the foundations of the United States's success up until now -- and they only appear in this particular combination in America. They are not only the country's biggest strengths, but also its greatest weaknesses,1518,439766,00.html

For the past two centuries, America's middle class thrived. It bulwarked the foundation of our liberties and became the envy of the world.

Today, because of Congressional-sponsored insourcing, offshoring, outsourcing along with FTAA, CAFTA, NAFTA and other corporate tools, Americans find themselves joining the "race to the bottom."

In his laser-piercing book, "AMERICA'S ENGINEERED DECLINE," William Norman Grigg, editor of the New American, said, "Even as our nation exports jobs that once opened the door to the middle class, we are importing waves of unskilled immigrants, including millions of illegals. No longer our protector, our political elite schemes to merge our country with other nations of this hemisphere into a continent-spanning socialist mega-state modeled after the European Union."

He quotes Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo who echoes Grigg's conclusions, "We are undergoing a radical change in our national character and social structure, not to mention language, and it shouldn't be allowed to happen without at the very least the informed consent of the public. I am among those who believe that it shouldn't be allowed to happen, period-and that's the majority view, which is probably why it's being done by stealth and misdirection."

Grigg presents cogent examples why Americans sweat over their country's future. America suffers growing consequences in every sector-mirroring the corruption seen in Third World countries. Instead of our Congress adhering to the Constitution, a majority march to the beat of a different drummer with a social experiment much like what Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev forced on Russia.

The sky isn't falling, exactly. America isn't on a fast track to irrelevance. Even in a state of total neglect, we could probably shamble along as a disheveled superpower for a few more decades.

But all empires end, and the warning signs of American decline seem to be blinking more consistently.
In the latest annual "prosperity index" published by the Legatum Institute, a -based research firm, the United States ranks as the ninth most prosperous country in the world. That's five notches lower than last year, when America ranked No. 4. The drop might seem inconsequential, especially in the midst of a grueling recession—except that most of the world has endured the same recession, and other countries are bouncing back faster.

Real household income in America has flat-lined, for instance, which means many middle-class families are barely keeping up with inflation. The exploding federal deficit hamstrings the government's ability to help. Healthcare is too expensive, America's manufacturing base is eroding, and two open-ended foreign wars are draining the national treasury. This is not a recipe for building national wealth.

Economic growth. The IMF also predicts that the U.S. economy will grow 1.9 percent in 2010. That's a tad better than the average for all advanced economies, but at least 10 developed nations will grow faster. Woo-hoo. Three cheers for mediocrity.

Poverty. The U.S. poverty rate, about 17 percent, is third worst among the advanced nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In that sample, only Turkey and Mexico ranked worse.

Education. American 15-year-olds score below the average for advanced nations on math and science literacy. But don't worry, our nation's future leaders are still ahead of their peers in Mexico, Turkey, Greece, and a few other places.
Prosperity. The most prosperous nations, according to the Legatum report, are Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. These fairly homogenous European countries are the teachers' pets of global rankings, often appearing near the top because of right-sized economies and a relatively small underclass.
For a huge economy like America's, a No. 9 ranking is still respectable. And part of the drop from last year's No. 4 spot is a change in methodology that puts more emphasis on the health and safety of citizens. Still, in the index's subrankings, the United States isn't even in the top 10 for economic fundamentals, safety and security, or governance. We should do better.

In 1847, Marx and Engels proposed ten steps to convert the Western nations to Communist countries without firing a shot. Most of these ideas have been successfully implemented in our own country with little, if any, resistance! ...

One of the ten steps called for "centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly" just like our own Federal Reserve! ...
Another of the ten steps called for instituting "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax" just like our own federal income tax! ...
Another step proposed by Marx and Engels was "abolition of all right of inheritance," which we come ever closer to as inheritance taxes increase. Taking wealth at gunpoint, if necessary that one person has created and given to another person is theft. Whether the wealth creator is alive or dead, the act and the impact are the same.
Another step was "free education for all children in public schools." Although our country still has many private schools in addition to the public ones, the content of both is dictated by aggression-through-government, to teach aggression.
Marx and Engels also recommended the "extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state." In the past century, more and more services have become exclusive, subsidized government monopolies (e.g., garbage collection, water distribution, mass transit, etc.). As a result, we pay twice as much for lower quality service!
Marx also called for the "centralization of the means of communications and transport in the hands of the state." Television and radio stations are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. A station that does not pursue programming considered "in the public interest" is stopped at gunpoint, if necessary from further broadcast. ... Radio stations have an elite ownership as well. Those who benefit from aggression-through-government have little incentive to tell the public that licensing is a tool of the rich! ...
Another of the ten steps calls for "confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels" ... [O]ur law enforcement agents can seize the wealth of anyone suspected of drug crimes without a trial! [T]he Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also been seizing the assets of taxpayers without a trial if the IRS thinks they might have underpaid their taxes! The wealth we have created can be taken from us at gunpoint, if necessary without a formal accusation or a chance to defend ourselves! ...
In addition, Marx and Engels called for "abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes." In other words, land would not be privately owned. No homesteading would be permitted. Our federal and local governments have title to 42% of the land mass of the United States. Most of the remaining land is under government control as well. For example, today's homeowners can pay off their mortgages, but must still pay property taxes to the local government. If they stop payments, their property is taken from them. They are, in essence, renting their home from the local government."
-- Dr. Mary J. Ruwart
(1949- )
Source: Healing Our World: The Other Piece of the Puzzle, Ch 19. (1992)

The Post American World

The economy is in trouble, and there’s little the Federal Reserve can do about it, says esteemed Yale economist Robert Shiller.

Economic growth slowed in both the first and second quarters, he notes in an interview with Yahoo’s Tech Ticker. “That’s not a very strong indicator, but it does suggest a recession may be coming soon,” Shiller explains. “Things are looking weaker now.”

As for the Fed, it already has pushed short-term interest rates to zero. “So they can’t do anything more about it,” Shiller says.

They’re pushing on a string. It’s just not enough. If people don’t want to spend, if they aren’t confident about the future, even if you offer them a zero borrowing rate, they don’t want it.”

That situation amounts to a “liquidity trap,” a phrase legendary economist John Maynard Keynes coined to describe the Great Depression.

Gluskin-Sheff economist David Rosenberg says the only factors supporting the economy are government handouts, which now make up over 20 percent of personal disposable income.

“For all the talk of how a double-dip was averted, we may look back at a 50 reading on consumer confidence — 20 points below recessionary averages in the past — as a sign that the original downturn never really ended,” Rosenberg writes in a note to investors.

Parag Khanna who worked for the World Economic Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote a book titled The Second World, in which he argues the US is currently in decline to becoming a second-class nation saddled by debt and taxes. The United States share of the world economy has fallen from 50% to 25% since WWII and is quoted as saying the US could “long remain on the debt-funded consumption binge that fueled the world in the 90s….because America’s (gov’t) debt payments already exceed the investment it receives, it is living beyond the wealth saved for the next generation.”

Big Money, Lousy Politicians

My conclusion - The American people have been screwed by greedy, short-sighted politicians and Wall Street globalists who now reap what they’ve sown because so few of the population awoke to the massive fraud foisted upon our country. The war on the middle class has been about big money vs. every American. The greatest heist in history has been going on right under the nose of most citizens.

Democracy in America is dying, replaced by an irresponsible government, controlled by global corporations.

Finally, it’s always puzzled me why the globalists, or the Washington-Wall Street Cartel (as I have termed them) would go so far as to decimate the middle class as that has been the engine which drove the world economy. Goes back to what I began writing about in the mid-1980s when the pirates who ruled Wall Street began shipping blue collar and then white collar jobs overseas and I wrote burger flippers can’t afford $40K cars and these idiots, so blinded by greed, still don’t get it!

Lena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn. Served 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.'

Parting shots…

It seems to me every president and politician lies to the American people including Obama, Clinton, Bush and others with the possible exception of Washington & Jefferson. We need a National Inspector General or something akin to this to reign in the bullcrap fed to us by Washington.

One of our subscribers sent me an email outlining how one older woman was happy to have Obama on board as the President, then proceeded to outline how his actions have sparked more of a resurgent interest in conservatism than this country has seen since Reagan was in office and how liberals such as Harry Reid were likely to be gone…good point! As the Poor Man has always stated, career politicians beginning with the start of WWI have not proven good for this country.

Another subscriber sent me an email detailing the horrors of the women’s right to vote movement as described in an HBO documentary…those many fearless women were often jailed and tortured by local police for having the nerve to stand up to government in order to fight for your rights which is why it’s important to find the time to vote.

The political climate has changed significantly in this country and many now fear speaking out against the government since Bush was in office. The government spies on its citizens, which is abhorrent in itself but keep in mind two things:

---The government (aka: poor leadership) is the primary cause of our problems
---Since our founding, Patriots such as Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, etc. put their life on the line to ensure our freedom from bad government.

Keep in mind too, both parties have proven dangerous to America. Clinton undermined our intelligence community & allowed a law to lapse that would have prevented Wall Street from becoming a mere casino with your money. Bush ruined the office of the presidency with executive orders weakening the Constitution and Congressional lapdogs and spent more money than he should have.

Can we not do better? Though we still enjoy a healthy measure of freedom, Americans have lost a lot during the past 30 years and there is no question, our own government is the biggest threat to our freedom, privacy and economic security.

Yours for freedom…the Poor Man
Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.

A Shallow Planet Production

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

America for Sale-Budget Time Bomb is Ticking

Bruce’s Poor Man Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources

In This Issue:

5 Places where you can get free land
Top Holiday spending predictions/trends
Free Photoshop alternative
Deficit time bomb is ticking faster
Top 100 Things which will disappear in a panic revisited
EBay continues to lose, PayPal makes up for it
Clever ideas worth knowing

In a democracy, every little wrong idea may grow up to become national policy.
--A. Brilliant

America for sale…

As most of us already know, the government has been selling US securities for years to finance its mammoth spending and debt policies. This puts other countries such as China and Japan in a position of ownership of US assets and dilutes the value of our dollar and reduces our lifestyle.

The result is easy to predict. Our sovereignty is being compromised. Our standard of living is being compromised in the process too. US workers continually come out on the short end of the stick as a result and this next election will not make one bit of difference. Multi-national firms and globalists will continue their bottom feeding strategies to extract the cheapest labor leaving an ever widening gap between the ’haves and have nots.’

This is one of the reasons why our government has never truly addressed the illegal immigration problem - those who pull the strings want cheap labor and they do not care if average Americans can afford their products…the globalists desire the same situation that now exists in Europe. A single currency, a single passport system, etc. America is simply next in line.

Americans have proven to be a gullible bunch, willing to swallow all this free trade nonsense the government has fed us using the premise that it will create more jobs…as we know, NAFTA cost more than 600,000 US jobs! This is but one step the globalists have used on the march to domination and the elimination of our sovereignty.

Whether Obama will admit it or not, the US is already bankrupt, unable to meet its current or future obligations, no matter what tax rate they employ…we’ve been sold out!

As I’ve publicly stated and written since the 1980s, burger flippers can’t afford $40K cars. I was probably one of the few in the business press to suggest NAFTA, GATT & related schemes by the government, was not in the best interest of our country. At the time, the Wall Street Journal responded to an editorial I had written saying my fears were unfounded…guess they were wrong.

Fire sale anyone?

Suggested reading: America for Sale by Jerome Corsi/2009 Simon & Schuster

This week’s goodies

Access the stuff on your computers from almost anywhere
With Windows Live Mesh and the Devices website, you can finally stop emailing files to yourself, carrying them around on a USB drive, or worrying whether the version you have with you is the latest. Good on Win7 mostly.

eBay Offers Trade-In Program Powered by CExchange

eBay launched a program called eBay Instant Sale in which
consumers can trade-in their old consumer electronics and gadgets
for money in their PayPal account. The program is currently
powered by CExchange LLC (alltechwholesale on eBay).

Looking for a free alternative to Photoshop? Well then you should give GIMP a try. It’s an image editing program that allows you to create and edit images, as well as touch up photographs. And best of all it’s free!

The thing I love about GIMP is that you can get free tutorials right on the same site where you'll find the download. Just scroll to the very bottom of the page and click Tutorials. The reason I love it is they have broken the tutorials into many levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Expert, Photo Editing, Web, and Scripting.

I don't think there is a free computer program any place on the internet for trappers, except for this one

Got toys or action figures? (the poor man’s wife tried selling her un-action figure husband here) Sell them at PlanetForce…they buy one or a thousand. Send email: or call them at: 843-815-7785

Check this site out for all your Halloween recipe needs, you won't be disappointed.

Five places where land is free

In the spirit of settling the wild, wild West, some communities are giving away free land lots. What's the catch? You have to agree to build a house (or park a mobile home) and live in it. For the most part, the places doing this are rural communities without much in the way of work opportunities. But there are definitely some upsides and we can think of worse places to wait out the recession than near a mountain stream in Alaska. Besides, doesn't the whole world work virtually now, or is that just my hemisphere? More at:

Top ten holiday trends for 2010
According to our first holiday survey, Americans plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping, a slight rise from last year’s $681.83. But those numbers just tell a fraction of the story. Here are some of the most interesting trends and nuggets I found when digging through the full report of data, provided by our partners at BIGresearch.

#1: Americans [still] aren’t ready to declare an end to the recession. Sound familiar? Yes, this trend was resurrected from the 2009 vault and our predictions last year. Unfortunately, there’s been no magical turnaround in consumer sentiment, meaning the trend is still sticking around. According to the survey, 61.7% of holiday shoppers say the economy will impact their spending plans this year. (That is down from 65.3% last year, which is certainly a good sign.) While many people who say they’ll be impacted will simply spend less (81.5%), others will compensate by shopping for sales more often (54.1%), using coupons more frequently (40.6%) and comparison shopping online (30.9%). If the recession really is over, somebody might want to clue in the American shopper. They’re not buying it. Read the rest of the predictions at:

I’m in favor of self reliance…so long as it prevents others from relying on me!


> Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster..
Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

> Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.
It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of
Spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in
double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty

> Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste
Of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of

> Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat
to med-low and heat till warm.
This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza I saw this on the cooking
channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken
Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly,
cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg.
Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

> Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet
Put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and for-
Get about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not
Get through wet newspapers.

> Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box
of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser. Works better than a

> Conditioner
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving
cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up
the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,'
can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it
rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small
children being harmed!

The heating unit went out on my dryer. The gentleman that fixes things
around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he
went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I
always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us
that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and
ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material .. I'm
sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ..... the hot
water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told
us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the
heating unit.
It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free ... that nice
fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the
box .... well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen.
This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down
with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very longtime
(and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash
it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush at least
every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as
Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The
water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the
mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had
it done in 30 seconds. --Thanks Jim for sharing these tips!


I would argue the most serious threat to the US is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, but our own fiscal irresponsibility.
--David Walker, former head of the GAO
In a 2008 interview on 60 Minutes

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In response to a question asking when the crap will hit the fan from one of our readers, I thought it may prove beneficial to repeat the following…

If you've followed our weekly newsletter during the past six weeks or so, we've featured a few estimates ranging from six to 18 months before the crash but much will depend on the coming election.

According to the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, the US projected debt to GDP ratio, thanks to Obama’s economic stimulus programs and our Social Security problems (there is no lock-box, no reserves thanks to Congressional looting) could reach 100% by 2030! The GDP is already at 60-65% this year so the time bomb is ticking.

As we've stated too, we feel it will more of gradual thing, like the loss of our rights and privacy. Our best estimate, regardless of election is 18 months. Several factors might accelerate this such as:
1. Another major war with Korea, Iraq or perhaps even some kind of armed conflict involving Mexico
2. If OPEC dumps the dollar as the currency of choice.
3. If nation's such as China & Russia create an alternative currency which becomes accepted by major trading partners.
With our country essentially bankrupt and major obligations coming due within six months (debts to foreign nations, for instance...the demise of the tax base which supports Social Security, Medicare, etc.) I'm not sure Washington (in reality, the Fed) will have any other choice except to pump more worthless dollars into the system (as are other countries)...this will prolong the inevitable for only so long. If I knew for certain, I'd be rich.
Keep in mind, it's unlikely to occur as a complete crash, but a slow erosion of living standards due to dollar devaluation, a growing class of unemployed, the growing inability for state and local governments to keep up with high pension costs, etc.
You can already see this taking place & even mainstream media are now reporting on such and I was surprised to see ABC news report about higher commodity prices (as we reported weeks ago...guess we scooped them) such as butter, sugar, coffee etc. due to lousy wheat crops in Russia, etc.

Here's a link to the "100 Things Which Will Vanish." Hope this helps...stay alert and prepared…you never know which type of calamity may befall us either man made or natural disaster.
NOTE: Feel free to send your questions to me & I will do my best to respond within 24-hours. Send to:

Read the following to gain more perspective on potential future predictions…

Seven years ago, Robert Prechter wrote down 100+ forecasts of what would happen as collective psychology turned from positive and bullish to negative and bearish. Three particularly relevant predictions are: No. 21 -- Politics will become far more polarized, splintered and radical. No. 86 -- Third parties will gain political clout and win local elections ... and probably at least one state government. No. 87 -- At least one of the two major parties will disappear or re-form. See which forecasts have already played out, which did not go according to plan and which are still to come -- all in this brilliant three-part series. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Online auctions and e-commerce pioneer eBay remains one of the strongest properties on the Web, but its balance of power is changing. Only a small percentage of eBay’s third-quarter growth can be attributed to its auction site, with PayPal easily accounting for the healthiest stream of revenue.
The online payment system, which eBay acquired in 2002, has become the company’s central business focus over the past two years. And a thriving one at that, earning nearly $800 million in revenues in the just-ended third quarter of 2010 – up 23 percent since this time last year.
In comparison, eBay’s auction site was up just 3 percent compared to last year’s third quarter. The site continues to produce enormous revenues, but eBay has clearly shifted its strategy toward the continued success of PayPal’s operations.
With the mobile explosion upon us, PayPal figures to play a major role in the future development of the payments industry – which it has already greatly impacted thus far. For its part, eBay’s auction site has helped create the e-commerce industry that we know today.
But online auctions have been losing ground to marketplaces such as Amazon for several years now. Amazon, in fact, continues to widen the gap since it officially surpassed eBay’s overall traffic numbers back in 2009.


U.S. slips to historic low in global corruption index

The United States has dropped out of the "top 20" in a global league table of least corrupt nations, tarnished by financial scandals and the influence of money in politics, Transparency International said on Tuesday. More at:

Parting shots…

Am I missing something? We’re still working on completing our cabin/mobile structure and of course, it will cost more than we initially thought, mainly due to plumbing-electrical supplies and inspections. I checked online with eBay to see if there were any coupons or gift cards available.

Plenty of gift cards available but I was aghast at what idiots were bidding for them. Using a round number of $100, most fools were at 96% of the value! Why on earth waste your time for that niggardly discount? You can sign yourself up at the Home Depot site to get coupons, so why bother with eBay purchases…dumb and dumber.

One of the items we did get at Home Depot was a low flow toilet for less than $60 & it even included the wax ring…such a deal. FYI, the world’s first porcelain toilet was built in 1885 & flushable toilets have been found in ancient Scotland dating to 3100BC. When I visited Great Britain I saw some examples of early Roman bath houses, including their toilet facilities featuring running water…rather impressive!

In Conspiracy Theory 2012, with Jesse Ventura, we learned that the U.S. government is still engaged in the building of massive underground bunker systems. According to Ventura, one of the largest has been built under the new Denver airport. In fact, the US government is reportedly building so fast and so widespread, that private contractors in the bunker business are having a difficult time obtaining necessary equipment and supplies to continue their developments.

According to some, but denied by many, FEMA has even built refugee camps to deal with millions of people who may be displaced in large scale emergencies or during a declaration of martial law.
Anecdotal reports over the years suggest that the largest buyer of freeze dried goods from major freeze dried food manufacturers is none other than the U.S. government.

The issue, however, is that the government may be spending billions, but they cannot possibly prepare for widescale, total collapse situations where millions of lives are at risk. It is simply not possible.

Our government, even if they tried, would not be able to stock enough food and resources for the entire population of the United States. They can’t possibly respond to widespread catastrophes that may include simultaneous nuclear, biological or chemical attacks on multiple U.S. cities, or an electromagnetic pulse threat from a rogue nation, or even a solar flare that threatens our power grid infrastructure.

The takeaway from understanding that the government is preparing for disasters is to acknowledge that, in an emergency, you and your family may be left floating up the creek without a paddle. The FEMA web site makes an effort to inform people that each individual should be preparing for emergencies themselves, though most Americans have ignored this, or are simply unaware that these recommendations exist.

In Food and Water in an Emergency (pdf) FEMA makes it clear that they may not be able to provide assistance. “If an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm, or other disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks,” warns the report. However, as my friend Bob always tells me, most Americans are still asleep at the wheel!

The PoorMan site provides a complete link to FEMA (free) reports…take advantage.

That’s it for this week folks!
Bruce ‘the contrarian poor man”

Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.

A Shallow Planet Production

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Adventures of Unemployed Man, Chicken DIapers & More Useful Stuff

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources

In This Issue:

1. Money saving holiday ideas
2. The Social Credit Movement
3. The Adventures of Unemployed Man-New Comic Book
4. Gone eBay on me
5. Dairy goats offer niche meat-new
6. The Debt-Free America Act-Another Obama Scam?
7. Get a free copy of the Economy Hits Home
8. Be sure to click on our Happy Halloween card (very end)

"To save the world is the
simplest thing in the world.
All one has to do is think."

- Leonard Peikoff

Social Credit…The Proposed Debt-Free America Act

The continuing decline of the US economy overshadowed one recent bit of good news…new figures show Americans are continuing to dump their debt, especially usurious credit card debt. The amount owed to credit card companies hit an eight-year low.

At the same time however, more folks are walking away from upside mortgages and we have a record number of Americans on food stamps.

That brings me an old Depression-era economic theory being revived…

Social Credit is an economic theory and a social movement which started in the early 1920s. The Canadian social credit movement was by far the most notable, but the ideas also gained some lesser success in other countries.

Social Credit was originally an economic theory developed by Scottish engineer Major C. H. Douglas. The name Social Credit came from his desire to make the betterment of society (Social) the goal of the monetary system (Credit).

Social Credit theory proposes that because the amount of money available under capitalism is necessarily lower than the total cost of goods produced, there will always be insufficient money to pay a realistic, sustainable price. He demonstrated this fundamental flaw with his A+B theorem, which states that if A is the payments made to all the consumers in the economy (through wages, dividends, and interest paid to banks) and B is the payments made by producers that are not eventually paid out to consumers (such as the overhead costs of buildings and equipment as they wear out) then the price charged for all goods must be at least A+B — an impossibility since only A is available to spend.
For such a system to sustain itself Douglas asserted that a number of things must happen:

People go into debt by buying on · credit
Governments borrow and increase the · national debt
Business borrow from banks to finance expansion
Businesses sell below cost, and eventually go · bankrupt
A state wins a · trade war, putting foreigners in debt to us for our surplus of · exports
A state has a real war, "exporting" goods such as · tanks and · bombs to the enemy without ever expecting to be paid for them, financing this by government borrowing

Subscriber Mike sent this to me…had not heard of this before & odds are you haven’t either. Is it another Obama scam?

Debt Free America Act. It is the most socialistic thing I have ever read. Just think, if you deposit $5,000.00 into your checking account or savings account, the bank has to take out 1% or $50.00 of that money and send it to Washington.

Debt Free America Act - States as purposes of this Act the raising of sufficient revenue from a fee on transactions to eliminate the national debt within seven years and the phasing out of the individual income tax. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose a 1% fee, offset by a corresponding nonrefundable income tax credit, on transactions that use a payment instrument, including any check, cash, credit card, transfer of stock, bonds, or other financial instrument. Defines "transaction" to include retail and wholesale sales, purchases of intermediate goods, and financial and intangible transactions. Establishes in the legislative branch the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action to review the fiscal imbalance of the federal government and make recommendations to improve such imbalance. Provides for expedited consideration by Congress of Task Force recommendations. Repeals after 2017 the individual income tax, refundable and nonrefundable personal tax credits, and the alternative minimum tax (AMT) on individuals. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to: (1) prioritize the repayment of the national debt to protect the fiscal stability of the United States; and (2) study and report to Congress on the implementation of this Act.

More at:

Finally, when & if you vote this election day, see George Carlin’s take on why he doesn’t vote:

"To blindly trust government is to automatically vest it with excessive power. To distrust government is simply to trust humanity - to trust in the ability of average people to peacefully, productively coexist without some official policing their every move. The State is merely another human institution - less creative than Microsoft, less reliable than Federal Express, less responsible than the average farmer husbanding his land, and less prudent than the average citizen spending his own paycheck."
-- James Bovard
(1956- ) American author, lecturer
Source: Freedom in Chains, The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen (St. Martin's Press), 2000

This week’s odds n ends

Chicken Diapers
A lot more people are raising chickens as pets and Ruth Haldeman of Hot Springs, Ark came up with a profitable idea most of us would never have thought of…diapers for chickens as they do poop a lot. Check it out at:

Discover How To Quickly And Easily Protect You And Your Family From Identity Theft"
Without paying monthly fees for the rest of your life…least expensive program we’ve seen.

What is Mint Bullion, Exactly?
You may have heard the term “mint bullion” before, and wondered how it differed from other bullion. Here’s a straightforward explanation, with some interesting trivia thrown in

Dairy Goats offer a niche meat & income potential
Marinated goat isn’t bad and the cheese is good too…not so crazy about the taste of goat milk though…see our new article courtesy Grit magazine at our Poor Man site. Click on the Urban Livestock tab to read more.

Free DIY Solar & Other Plans

Spend as little as possible on things which will last as long as possible.
This site’s editors evaluate the lower price ranges in 100 product categories.

Tally your total price when using a credit card…useful during this holiday season, a free online calculator to find out how much you will really spend when using a credit card

On a related note…

Wouldn’t it be great if free Christmas gifts were easy to come by? Well, they can be. Put these 10 sources for free gifts to work for you, and you won't worry about your Christmas budget again:

Become a Mypoints member, and earn points for reading e-mails, taking surveys, doing web searches and shopping online. Then, cash in your points for gift cards that you can give as gifts or use to do your Christmas shopping. With over 75 merchants to choose from, you're sure to find a card for everyone on your list.

· Earn Free Gift Cards Through Mypoints

Grocery Offers
Cereal prizes aren't just for kids. Get in the habit of checking product packaging for offers, and you may just turn up some great ones. I've scored gift cards, DVDs, toys and even savings bonds this way. Who wouldn't like to get those as Christmas gifts?
Tips: Kellogg's runs some of the best offers that I've seen. To keep up with their latest promotions, there's a newsletter that you can subscribe to.
· Kellogg's Promotions Newsletter

Department Stores
The competition between department stores is fierce around the holidays – great news for the consumer. Get in the habit of checking the sales ads in the Friday newspaper each week for $10-off-$10 coupons. JC Penney and Sears are two stores that commonly run this promotion. Snag both coupons, and you could knock two gifts off your list without even pulling out your wallet. It's department store shopping at its best!

Survey Sites
Enjoy sharing your opinion? Then, you've got to give surveys a try. You can earn magazine subscriptions, best-selling books and movies, gift cards, electronics and lots of other great stuff that your friends and family will love. This is one time when it pays to be opinionated.
· Get Paid to Take Surveys
· Top 5 Surveys Sites

Rebates are great any day, but they're especially nice when you're looking to boost a small Christmas budget. Be on the lookout for gift-worthy items that you can get free-after-rebate (bath products are a common offering), but also look for rebates on items that you buy regularly. If it's something you'd have to purchase anyway, go ahead and drop that rebate check in your Christmas fund, and you won't even miss it.
· Current Rebate Offers

We all have to grocery shop, so we may as well be paid for it. Sign up for Homescan; scan the barcode of each item that you buy (with the provided scanner); and you'll be rewarded with points that you can redeem in their gift catalog. Remember: they didn't say the gift had to be for you.

Credit Card Rewards
If you're disciplined enough to pay your credit card off each month, paying your bills with plastic can be a great way to rack up rewards points in a hurry. Let them accumulate throughout the year. Then, cash them in when you're ready to do your Christmas shopping.

Sweepstakes and Instant Wins
Enjoy entering sweepstakes and instant win game? Then, seek out games with prizes that you'd like to give as gifts. Sure, there's no guarantee you'll win; but you can at least try – and have fun doing it.

· Find Sweepstakes to Enter
· How to Use Sweepstakes Wins for Holiday Presents
· Great Gifts that You Could Win

Companies give things away all the time. Keep your ear to the ground, and be ready to pounce anytime something gift-worthy comes up for grabs.
· Free Christmas Gifts/Stocking Stuffers
Free Poor Man newsletter subscriptions Bruce ·

PM TIP-Use cola to whiten grout…simply pour the soda over your tile, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse for a nice gleam…also useful for chrome on your auto.

from our a new subscriber-worth a look see:
Please include the following two employment resources to your job site listings.

Free Kindle Reader for your PC from Amazon-if you want to try a Kindle reader, here is a means of trying it free from your own computer...they make a Mac version too.

Sponsor Ads

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"[I]f the public are bound to yield obedience to laws
to which they cannot give their approbation,
they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them."
-- Candidus
Pen name of Samuel Adams during the era of the Sons of Liberty

21 Money Savers You May Be Ignoring

What eats up your paycheck: food, clothing, your home, your car? Well, you might be making these 5 common money mistakes or missing out on valuable savings. Here are a few simple money-saving tricks for your most common purchases.

Don't miss 104 more money savers you may not know about.

Stock up on grocery staples right after Thanksgiving. It's prime time: More food coupons are issued in November and December than in any other season.
Try · for nonperishables. Its "Subscribe & Save Program" typically gives 15 percent discounts (plus free shipping) on items such as paper towels.
Stop buying bottled water: At $1.50 per 20-ounce bottle, a family of four that goes through 20 bottles a week could save about $1,560 annually. The equivalent water from the faucet? Maybe $1. And it takes just seconds to fill a glass or a reusable water bottle.

Don't buy premixed: You can pay up to 50 percent more for foods with sugar, spices, or sauces already mixed in. Juice in cartons can cost a hefty 60 percent more than frozen concentrate.

Medical Care:
Fill prescriptions at Internet stores for savings. Check · for legit businesses.

"Liberty, next to religion has been the motive
of good deeds and the common pretext of crime..."
-- Lord Acton

Government Pirates: The assault on private property rights
By: Don Corace
After years of hard work and saving, you finally own a home. But don’t get too comfortable. If government officials decide they want your property, they can take it—for a wide variety of shady reasons that go far beyond the usual definition of “public purposes.” The courts have allowed these injustices to persist. And there is nothing you can do about it—not yet.
Real estate developer and property rights expert Don Corace offers the first in-depth look at eminent domain abuse and other government regulations that are strangling the rights of property owners across America. Government Pirates is filled with shocking stories of corrupt politicians, activist judges, entrenched bureaucrats, greedy developers, NIMBY (Not-in-My-Backyard) activists, and environmental extremists who conspire to seize property and extort money and land in return for permits. Corace provides the hard facts about individual rights and offers invaluable advice for those whose property may be in danger…available on Amazon

Parting Shots…this n that!

On an odd note…McDonald's adds marriage to the menu in Hong Kong
McDonald's announced plans to start hosting weddings at its Hong Kong restaurants, saying the idea to add nuptial packages to the menu stemmed from consumer demand. Wedding deals will include decorations, McDonald's themed gifts and personalized menus that include an apple pie wedding cake. "People said they'd dated here (at McDonald's), or met here, and wanted to get married here.

According to data from the Business Insider, more than 8,000 New York transit workers earn in excess of $100,000 annually and the head of New Jersey Teacher’s Union makes $500,000 a year-10 times that of the average US worker…yet teachers are often laid off in that state!

What the Poor Man is reading this week - No Place to Hide by Robert O’Harrow, JR…an inside look at the utter disregard the government has for the privacy of its citizens and how the security industry lobbyists pander and foster the growth of Big Brother…sickening that these idiots in Washington are doing this to their own citizens.

Check out the newest comic book - The Adventures of Unemployed Man, a clever spoof on the unemployment picture and bankers (as villains) created by, you guessed it…an unemployed graphic artist from CA…go to the site and click on JobResources.

Gone eBay on me…a new expression I coined meaning non-stop changes. eBay loves to create confusion & consternation among sellers with its never ending stream of changes and, I find many others do the same. My computer seems to require updates on a near daily basis from Microsoft, Adobe, AVG and others…gets to be like dealing with the never ending stream of government regulation - it doesn‘t stop!

As I reported in the last issue, America has more laws than any other country…enough to choke thousands of horses as well as citizens. We’re drowning in red tape and the big problem…too often no one in Congress has a clue what’s in the law. They frequently violate the Constitution or make no sense; too often penned by a lobbyist or assistant. These so-called representatives should be tried as traitors according to Dan Pilla Sr - a frequently quoted tax rebel and tax expert. Of course, we couldn’t agree more!

Interviews in the foreign press regarding the collapse of the US dollar

A few months ago, McDonald's became the first multinational company to sell renminbi-denominated bonds, and Wal Mart has openly discussed doing the same. I'm convinced that one day soon we'll see bankrupt cities in the US taking similar steps and auctioning off renminbi-denominated municipal bonds. In other words, as the Poor Man wrote more than a year ago, the Chinese currency (renminbi) will become the dominate world currency.

Finally, yet another example of what’s wrong with government…

A single, 31-year-old woman in Michigan who posted a note on her church bulletin board seeking a "Christian roommate" to share her residence has been cited by the state for violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against those of other faiths.
The complaint signed by Tyra Khan, a "Civil Rights Representative" of the state of Michigan Department of Civil Rights, surfaced when the Alliance Defense Fund announced today it was representing the woman.
ADF spokesman Joel Oster confirmed the organization sent a letter to the state explaining that such housing rules don't apply to people living in their own homes and wanting to share their resources. More at:

According to much of the email I received this week, the consensus appears to be that few Americans are prepared to meet the harsh realities of the invisible hand (or as some call it, the New World Order)…indeed, the term was actually coined by Adam Smith as a metaphor for the forces that direct industry “in such a manner as its produce may be of greatest value.”

If you want another perspective on restoring the economy, get a free copy of The Economy Hits Home from the Heritage Organization at:

That’s all for this week’s episode - appreciate me now & avoid the rush!

Yours for the good life, the Poor Man
Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Use Gray Water, Precious Metal Buying Tips, Job Clubs

Bruce’s Poor Man Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources

Inside this issue:

Precious metal buying protection tips
How to use gray water
Connect with a job club
Waste less food
#1 Halloween treat
Interview excerpt w/ Phil Donohue & Milton Friedman
Lots of mixed economic signals; the inside scoop

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away (hey)...

- Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter"

More wonderful signs as to how the feds are screwing us

It's official now. The Fed said it in their meeting notes. And Bernanke said it again on Friday:

He's going to run the money printing presses.
It's the same trick we've seen in countries like Brazil, Argentina and Russia. It's the age-old tactic of GUTTING THE CURRENCY — this time targeting the most important one on Earth, the U.S. dollar…

The United States has piled on so much debt that world is going to abandon the dollar, says Jim Grant, founder and editor of "Grant’s Interest Rate Observer."

“By the numbers, we are more encumbered now than we have ever collectively been,” Grant tells the Business Insider.

The United States debt has soared to the point where people can expect to see the dollar get the same reaction as in the 1970s, Grant tells the Business Insider. He said that European hoteliers in the Carter years would ask American tourists if they could pay in anything but greenbacks.

“The world has expressed preference for currencies not called the dollar. It’s happened,” he told the Business Insider.

The dollar has fallen recently, including hitting a 15-year low against the yen after sluggish unemployment figures increased expectations that the government will inject cash into the economy, which weakens the currency.

“The market is in a state of anxiety over what’s likely to come from the Fed,” Lee Hardman, a foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London, tells Bloomberg…

If you think about it, our nation’s financial problems didn’t start until the Fed & IRS were created, taking the printing press out of government hands and out-of-control spending into hands of politicians who didn’t have a clue or simply did not care.

One of my trusted advisors, Garry, who is a certified financial planner, stock broker, etc for decades, feels this is the path which will most likely take place…a slow decline in the value of our money, leading to inflation and hardship for more Americans, especially those on fixed incomes.

For those of who sell non-essential items for a living, those discretionary dollars will become mighty scarce, meaning lower and slower sales as most eBay sellers will tell you.

Ironically, in a weekend test I listed about a dozen books each on eBay and Amazon. Within two hours I had sold five books on Amazon and not one on eBay?!

Finally, did anyone notice how Parisians are launching massive protests about their government raising the retirement age to 62? The sheep in America would never do that even as our government has essentially raised the age to 70 and no COLA raise for retirees two years in a row…all the while, Congress-critters can retire with full benefits after only two terms…what a shining example!

There ought to be a better way than government to run the world!

Weekly tips n tricks to use

A step-by-step guide to wasting less food

Americans are notorious for wasting food. Each year, we toss out about 27 percent of edible food , and the average family of four throws out about $600 worth of groceries. Here's one way to visualize the collective impact of all the limp lettuce and moldy bread that makes its way to landfills. We waste enough food each day to fill up the Rose Bowl (a 90,000 seat stadium in Southern California), according to Jonathan Bloom, author of America... More on this story >>

Connect with a job club-faith-based job search groups can boost your search. Here are a few to get you started.
>Crossroads Career-national coalition of independent churches.
>Jewish Vocational Service-counseling, job placement, training, etc.
>Work Ministry-private firm that helps faith-based & community groups.

Every year in the US, 1.7 million hospital acquired infections occur, causing 99,000 deaths. A good place to avoid!

Whiten your teeth without bleach…you can spend a ton of bucks on products and dental services to get your teeth whiter-here’s a cheap way. Each bristle on this toothbrush is embedded with microscopic pellets of calcium carbonate…from Reach Total Care. Cost: $3 & up

Portable Water Purifier-works without electricity or batteries…
SteriPen’s purifier can filter water anywhere. First of its kind with a crank-powered ultraviolet light, which zaps toxins from water in its one-litre tank. Cost=$100

Another source for rewarding recycling…Check this program out for getting points toward gift certificates at 2,400 retailers including CVS, and Omaha steaks.

Sell your hobby equipment by hooking up with a club that might want the items:

Sell your DVDs & Cds…sure, you can always try eBay but this site will grab those dust collecting disks if they’re in good condition-prices vary by item but it’s worth a look see:

With the consent of the people…the Liberty Bell is silent!

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Beware China lest the west get mugged by reality in the coming currency wars…the Poor Man

Simple Ways to Collect Greywater

Place a bucket in the shower while you're waiting for the water to warm up
Save unused drinking water
Wash your dishes inside a dishpan instead of directly in the sink
Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water, instead of under running water
Capture the rinse water from your washing machine
Use a bucket to scoop out your water after a bath

Ways to Use Greywater
Greywater can be used to water your indoor and outdoor plants. It can also be used to flush toilets. Just pour a bucket of greywater into the bowl, and the toilet will flush without the use of any fresh water.

Greywater Safety Tips
1. Water from toilets and dishwashers should never be reused.
2. Do not use water that is contaminated with fecal matter (the rinse water from a load of dirty diapers, for example).
3. Water that is contaminated with bleach and other harsh chemicals should not be used on plants.
4. Do not reuse excessively dirty dishwater.
5. Do not use greywater on edible plants.
6. Do not apply greywater to plants with a sprayer, sprinkler or hose, as this could spread any bacteria or chemicals present in the water.
7. Keep open water containers out of the reach of children and pets.
8. Use water within 24 hours of collection to avoid the spread of bacteria.

More Considerations
1. To eliminate concerns about the presence of chemicals in your greywater, switch to plant-based, phosphate-free cleaners for all of your household needs.
2. Some areas have rules about how greywater can be collected and used. Check with your local government before using greywater outdoors or before setting up a greywater system.

Why Bother with Greywater Collection?
According to OasisDesign, Greywater makes up 50-80% of the wastewater that leaves our homes. Just think how much your water bill would shrink if you started using that water twice


Precious Metal Buyers under government scrutiny

It should be apparent to most readers that the government is worried about any challenges it sees to its fiat currency system and the Federal Reserve System. Under the guise of so-called money laundering, non-governmental competing currency and drug cartel laws, the government monitors EVERY financial transaction you make which is why it’s nearly impossible to open any kind of financial account in the US without the socialist slave number or why the IRS has violated international law by going after offshore accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere.

In 2008 the Poor Man wrote about a group which offered subscribers an alternative to using fiat FRNs by using their pure silver Liberty Dollar instead. Evidently, the FBI felt their small operation threatened the FRN and they seized all the gold and silver being held by the group.

Another private precious metal ’currency’ in the cross hairs of the FBI is e-gold, which after government harassment, now requires a ton of private identification of its members due to such scrutiny and possible confiscation by government agents.

Because you never know what shenanigans Congress will pull, such as when Roosevelt confiscated gold from American citizens (you cannot trust these congress-critters) we suggest purchasing precious metals via local flea markets and dealers who do not request personal identification for purchases under $10,000. In 2011 there will no longer be any constitutional checks and balances on IRS intelligence gathering so the agency can extract more money from business owners, et al…essentially, anti-citizen senators including Sens Max Baucus (D) and Charles Grassley have pushed for less stringent laws to allow IRS fishing expeditions, essentially ripping out protections of the 4th and 5th Amendment rights

Here's a source for silver to consider...forget the bailout, we need a life raft-check the video


No Easy Fix for Unemployment
Despite talk of America’s recovery, unemployment rates remain stagnant.
Many components are at work creating this negative job environment. By not providing a secure tax future before adjourning for elections, Congress has left many businesses in limbo as to whether they can survive the year ahead. A crashing housing market has left many American families in over their heads and unable to move to a better
Read the rest of this interesting insight at:

On a related note, a recent Wall Street Journal report shows another effect of the recession…

Growing numbers of Americans with health insurance are walking away from their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter, the latest indication that efforts to contain costs may be curbing health-care consumption.
A review of insurance-claims data shows that so-called abandonment -- when a patient refuses to purchase or pick up a prescription that was filled and packaged by a pharmacist -- was up 55% in the second quarter of this year, compared with four years earlier….

As we reported previously…

Thanks to the recession, 2009 was one of the worst years for poverty in America in more than half a century. The total number of Americans living in poverty hit 43.6 million, the highest level in 51 years and the national poverty rate rose to 14.3 percent from 13.2 percent, according to data released last month by the Census Bureau.

All told, one in seven Americans are living in poverty. To visualize America's startling rise in poverty, Mint, the personal finance site, put together this interactive chart…

…Ironically, Deutch Bank in Germany is reporting the US will not experience a double dip recession and will do well in the coming year…despite the fact the US is now ranked #8 in the world by Forbes magazine in terms of being competitive.

Walmart Rolls Back Rollbacks: Food Prices at Two-Year High
Walmart has rolled back its rollbacks. Earlier this year, the retailer tried to spark sluggish U.S. sales by lowering its prices - already bargains - even further. One analyst called it "an initiative that screams: Price! Price! Price!" These rollbacks, as they are known in Walmartspeak and in the company's advertising, were intended to overwhelm the shopper. In May, according to one shopping website, the price of a 40-oz. bottle of Heinz ketchup, which had been $2.42, was chopped to $1. Kraft mac and cheese, which had been going for $3.58, was reduced to $2.50. The rollback of a 50-oz. bottle of Tide laundry detergent, which was priced in the $7.48-$8.12 range, gave shoppers a $2.50 discount. Walmart expected a flood of customers to its stores, which would help lift the company's stock out of its rut and get Walmart rolling again.


Corrupt lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are polluting Capitol Hill, but you don’t need me to tell you that. So today, CREW released The Most Corrupt Members of Congress: Unfinished Business. The report highlights in clear detail the need to strengthen the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), and create a similar independent ethics office in the Senate. We figured there was no better way to do that then by highlighting the actions of this motley crew of lousy lawmakers, who still belong to an institution that is supposed to be policing itself?

Parting thoughts & Observations…

More states at risk for going broke-what it means

California tops the list for its risk of insolvency. Some other top states going broke include: Illinois, Michigan, Nevada and New York…no big surprises there. State budgets have been squeezed (just like the middle class) but have been slow to reduce their workforce or high cost benefits.

Fiscal failure odds can be accelerated by lack of leadership over tough spending cuts, no more federal bailouts, investors refusing to invest in new muni bonds, etc. While states cannot declare bankruptcy, they can default on their obligations or issue IOUs like CA…Arkansas did this during the Great Depression. Many cash strapped cities in those states will no longer get state aid either if this takes place. I see this as a strong prelude to the coming crash and another warning sign…based on reports of 10/13 I see more reason to remain soured on our economic picture and this will hurt states too…

The dollar is a mere THREE-TENTHS of ONE PERCENT away from making all-time RECORD lows against ALL major currencies!

Not only is the U.S. still mired in the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression ...
Not only is the Fed embarking on unprecedented misadventures to boost inflation ...
But we ALSO face one of the most historic Congressional elections, ever!
What will happen?
There is no question in my mind that, in this teetering economy ...
We will see, as I indicated two issues ago, a tug of war between a more conservative Congress and a more aggressive Fed backed by the Obama administration ...

Consumers and investors are running for cover. Enjoy the following excerpt from the Phil Donohue show…

Phil Donohue: When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism? And whether greed is a good idea to run on?

Milton Friedman: Well first of all tell me, is there some society you know that doesn't run on greed? You think Russia doesn't run on greed? You think China doesn't run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy. It's only the other fella that's greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty that you are talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it's exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

Phil Donohue: Seems to reward not virtue as much as the ability to manipulate the system.

Milton Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? Do you think... American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. And just tell me where in the world you find these angels that are going to organize society for us? Well, I don't even trust you to do that.
-- Milton Friedman
(1912-2006) Nobel Prize-winning economist, economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, "ultimate guru of the free-market system"
Source: Phil Donohue interviews Milton Friedman, Feb. 11, 1979

In politics there is an old saying…’it’s not who wins or loses, but who gets to control the wreckage.’ When the private sector falls apart it will be more easily dominated by the state (and/or the federal reserve, Washington’s most powerful puppet master)!

On another note…the number one candy of choice for trick-or-treaters is the Snickers Bar!

Yours for better living - the Poor Man Ghoul!
Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.

A Shallow Planet Production…feel free to share!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Show me the jobs, Who's Upset over Economy-Everyone!

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
You choice for urban survival resources

In This Issue:

Wealthy suburban moms now scrimping
Different prices if you pay by cash, credit or debit
I Want Your Money-movie trailer
Foxfire Books now available on CD ROM
US is now a global sweatshop-show us the jobs!
Stuff you do not need to stockpile
Guest Interview-lack of confidence in gov’t=rising gold prices

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
- Tacitus, A.D. 56-120

Show us the jobs-you cretins!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is back over 11,000, corporations are flush with $2 trillion in cash, growth has held up for more than a year, and interest rates are at record lows. But none of that does much to cheer the average voter.


It’s simple really and to paraphrase a popular movie “Show us the jobs!”

Since the mid-1980s in my weekly politically incorrect newspaper column I’ve slammed Wall Street and their penchant for shipping US jobs overseas. The catch phrase I penned back then still applies…burger flippers can’t afford your $40K automobiles.

Two Americans and a British-Cypriot economist won the 2010 Nobel economics prize Monday for developing a theory that helps explain how many people can remain unemployed despite a large number of job vacancies…most Americans would like to know where these job vacancies are located.

As the Poor Man has written before, the government is the single biggest obstacle to job creation and entrepreneurism in this country…Congress passed and the president signed 125 bills into law in 2009. Your tireless federal regulatory predators busy -they issued more than 3,000 new regulations!

Regulations considered in recent years have included energy-efficiency standards for clothes washers and pool heaters, SUV emission rules and the Consumer Product Safety Commission's designs to regulate escalators (safer than unregulated stair steps, by the way) as a "consumer product."

The year's Federal Register - the daily depository of federal regulations - already tops 61,000 pages. According to research conducted for the Small Business Administration by economists Nicole V. and W. Mark Crain, annual off-budget regulatory costs exceed $1.7 trillion, an amount equivalent to more than half the level of the federal budget itself and on a par with the stratospheric annual deficit…Red tape and the Global Marketplace has turned into the global sweatshop!


News, Tips & Resources for the week

Coming Soon: Different Prices if You Pay by Cash, Credit, or Debit

As a result of federal law suits and a new consumer protection law, sellers will soon be able to charge depending on how you pay. Pay with a rewards credit card, the price will be higher. Use a plain vanilla credit card, and you'll pay less. Use a PIN number with a debit card, you'll pay less, but not as low as paying with cash. Pay with AMEX, get charged one price. Pay with MasterCard, get charged another. What is certain to happen is price confusion because retailers are not likely to post all the prices that apply to each item. Welcome to the era of fuzzy pricing.

Consumer Reports testing show most multi-vitamins the same
Our tests of 21 multivitamins at two outside labs-including leading brands, five for seniors, and six for children-will allay some of those fears. All but one of the products we tested met their label claims for key essential vitamins and minerals, and none contained worrisome levels of contaminants such as arsenic or heavy metals. Most of the pills we tested also passed the U.S. Pharmacopeia's dissolution test, which involves immersing them in a simulated stomach-acid solution to determine whether they'll dissolve properly in your body…the Poor Man is a strong believer in the use of a daily vitamin.

Doing Good: directory of 800 stores that donate to the charity of your choice when you purchase online. Visit:

Weed through political campaign BS with this non-partisan group:

Public Records Locator
Find property records, foreclosures, sex offenders/fugitive reports, government salaries (that will be an eye-opener) and more at this useful site:

I Want Your Money-Watch the trailer

Politicians seldom listen to the people as we’re merely serfs, working to provide for them and their corporate masters so I plan on seeing this movie asap…I Want Your Money. You can watch the trailer at:

Learn How To Be An Internet Entrepreneur
Listen in on a three-hour conversation between internet marketing legend Corey Rudl and mentor Dan Kennedy, discussing advanced techniques for becoming an Internet multi-millionaire. Discover what 95% of Internet marketers are doing wrong, and learn the $10,000-a-month matchbook trick.

Learn more here...
Note: Save yourself some money and skip the "Registration Backup Service." Just make a copy…years ago, in another life, I used to be on the same speaking circuit as Kennedy-you’ll benefit greatly from his material.

Wealthy Suburban Moms Becoming Frugal too…
"Someone told me you've gotten your monthly grocery bill down to $315," she says. "You have to tell me how you did it!"
The thrift is inspired by the body blows of a changing economy. In March 2009, member Sandra Wiiki lost her work-from-home job as a designer with a company that supplies interior plastics to Ford. Joy Behringer lost her position as a manager for an auto-related company in 2008 at the end of her six-week maternity leave. Her husband Jeff was out of work for 15 months until he found a new management job in June. Pamela Anderson, who helps run a local flower shop that her husband has owned for 31 years, has been coping with a steep downturn in business since 2008, when they lost a lucrative corporate account with Chrysler. Deschaine is scrimping to cope with the slow growth of her husband's graphic-design business.

Frugality First
While the moms spend plenty of time on traditional subjects - rambunctious kids, traveling husbands, visiting relatives - their conversation also embraces a topic that an earlier generation of Grosse Pointe ladies would have carefully avoided: living with less money. "More than ever, part of your responsibility for your family is being aware of your budget," says club president Gabriela Boddy, a former industrial engineer who left her job by choice. "People don't want to waste the money that is so hard to make these days."

Money for Gold Companies Tested

An investigative TV consumer report reveals that consumers wanting to convert old gold jewelry to cash may only get a tiny fraction of the value of the gold in those items. [video]

Weekend Project: YouTube Downloads, Mashups, Screencasts, and More
So you've read our DIY guide to viral video, and you've been keeping tabs on the Internet's latest in Viral Views. Now you're all hyped up to start making some videos and mashups of your own, but there's just one catch: You wouldn't be caught dead in front of a camera. Fear not, we have a few tools that can help.

Here’s a fun little free clip we made using some of the tools outlined below:

The Poor Man made a quick Search Story video using Google’s YouTube free creator-check it out…

Make Simple Mashups With YouTube Doubler
Usher's song "Papers": Not funny. A goat yelling in a vaguely human manner: Not funny. Playing the two of them at once with YouTube Doubler: Hilarious.

YouTube Doubler lets you play two YouTube videos simultaneously. Just plug two video URLs into the corresponding fields, use the 'Start (seconds)' fields to choose where on each video's timeline you want to begin, and get mashing…get more tips and resources at:

Get 21 Cutting Edge Strategies for Protecting Your Privacy


“No other country comes close in terms of the amount of resources controlled, seized, transferred, and destroyed by lawyers and judges than the United States.”--The Economist

Who’s upset over the economy? Everybody, everywhere
Anger: It's the defining political emotion of this . It's boiling across the country, much of it directed at President Obama and the congressional Democrats over the way they have handled the economy. Not far behind is dissatisfaction.
The combination, detected in a new ABC News/Yahoo! , spells trouble for Democrats three weeks out from the election. Angry people, analysts say, go out and vote. Dissatisfied people tend to stay home.
With the recovery stalling, unemployment stuck at 9.6 percent and the housing crisis entering a dangerous new phase as bungled paperwork and outright fraud force a halt to foreclosures across the country, there's plenty to get upset about.
More at:

"It is said that power corrupts,
but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible.
The sane are usually attracted by other things than power."
-- David Brin
(1950- ) Author

Stuff survivalist should not stockpile
From time to time I see discussions on the forums about gear and supplies that survivalist should invest into – like a berkey water filter, mountain house foods, or long term food storage items. For the sake of discussion, lets talk about stuff you should not invest into.
Before investing a lot of money into a project, there are some things to consider. The first consideration is “can you “really” afford it? It would be nice to have half a million dollars to drop into 1,000 acres in Alaska and a 2 story cabin. But the fact is, most people can not afford such luxuries. Next, do you really “need” the supplies? Or, are you buying the supplies just to have them?

Gold – As of today, October 5, 2010 the price of gold is $1,333.95 per ounce. For the average working middle class family, who is struggling to pay a house note, electric bill, insurance, buy food,,,,,, forking out $1,333 for an ounce of gold is out of the question. In a lot of cases, that $1,333 would pay1 or 2 house notes. Having a place to live is more important then trying to buy gold in these tough financial times. If your one of the lucky few that money is not an issue, then maybe buying gold is right up your alley.
If gold was at $400, and a family had some extra money they could invest, then sure, maybe buy some gold. But if you buy it right now, how much higher can the price go before it starts to go back down. I see buying gold right now, as the same thing as getting into a pyramid scam. The people that got in early make the most money – the people that get in late lose the most money.

Meals Ready to Eat – the good ole MRE is not a top pick for a survivalist food. Sure the military hands them out by the case, but the military also has plenty of money. Read the rest of the article here:

Guest interview excerpt from the respected Weiss Group

"Is the recent rise in gold prices an indication of a lack of confidence in the government?"

…asked voters what they think about the economy and we found that most voters do not believe or do not accept Washington's claims about the recovery.
Only 38% say the economy is recovering slowly but surely. Meanwhile, 58.3% say the economy is already sinking into another recession or is still in a long-term recession.
Martin: Peg, one of our readers, is apparently in the latter group. She writes:

"We are not caught in a recession. We are caught in a growing DEPRESSION, and our big houses are the home to our extended families — like the Waltons."
Here's another reader in that camp, who writes:
"A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job. And the only reason the folks in Washington think we have neither is because they and their neighbors across the aisle still have their jobs."
He says his intent is to help fix that particular problem come November. Plus, we have a question from Steven for you:

"John, what actions of the existing government are most disliked by the American people?"

John: We asked voters very specific questions about that. We asked, for instance: "If someone is having difficulty meeting their mortgage payments, do you think the government should provide financial assistance to help them avoid foreclosure, or not?"
Only 27.5% of likely voters said "Yes, help them avoid foreclosure." But double that number — 55.1% — said "No, don't help them." In other words, for each voter who said yes, two people said no!
We also asked voters about bank bailouts: "If another big bank fails, do you think the government should bail it out or let it fail?"
More than 80% said "let it fail." Only 6.6% said "bail it out." So for every voter in favor of bank bailouts, there were 12 voters against the bailouts.

THROW-THE-BUMS-OUT" sentiment is not strictly the domain of Tea Party supporters, is it? For example, I have some interesting quotations here submitted by folks who are not Tea Party supporters. One person quotes Will Rogers who said
"Congress is the finest body of men money can buy."
Another quotes Benjamin Franklin who said
"No man's life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session."

For more information and archived issues, visit

What is the best thing the government can do to stimulate the growth of business and the economy?

"Constitutional law requires that any rule, regulation, law, statute pass Constitutional muster by protecting the public health, welfare, morals or safety. Most regulatory schemes are self serving and do not meet that Constitutional requirement. Reduce the regulatory mess in this country."
- Keith Allison

"Lets cut the huge, unproductive government overhead. Squeeze the bloated and overcompensated civil service. Stop federal government spending financed by borrowing. Get entitlement costs under control (Obama Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security). Otherwise these programs will engulf discretionary spending and wipe out national defense and security budgets. Keep taxes low by retaining the Bush tax cuts and resisting attempts to expand the public sector through additional local, state, and federal government taxes. A healthy and growing economy should generate all the tax revenues that government needs. We could use another Hoover Commission to streamline and rationalize government and make it more efficient. It seems like the larger the government gets the greater the bureauracy grows and the less that actually gets done (less from more). Stop the push toward European style socialism. The Europeans came to America because it was better to live and work here than where they were in the old country. Americans are not moving to Europe to live under socialsim. Let's quit the war against capitalism and implement policies that let us thrive and provide the things we need for our high standard of living. Stop stonewalling energy production here in the U.S. Stop harassing the domestic automobile industry. Open up international trade to reduce foreign tariffs or other barriers and sell more goods and services worldwide. Elect government officials that know how our economic system works and what government can do to make it work better." Thanks to Caroline for sending these to us!

Parting thoughts and an offer…

Coming soon… Poor Man got rights to the Foxfire …Affairs of Plain Living, Eliot Wigginton, editor

A tremendous book series published since 1969 about rural Appalachian skills such as making moon shine, building a cabin, smoking meat, handling snakes, planting by signs and a whole bunch of useful stuff. These are from microfiche files and I have the first six books on CD ROMS now ready to ship…For subscribers the cost for the next 30-days will be only $4.95 shipping included…you would expect to pay $10 each for used copies on eBay plus postage.

I’m also including three bonus PDFs

Book of the New Alchemists
Village Technology Handbook
Hydroponics Guide

These bonus books provide additional resources from drilling a well to growing stuff indoors…they make a nice compliment to the FoxFire series. If you wish to pre-order-PayPal account to send us $4.95-use our PayPal address of:

Finally, if you purchased the Poor Man mega-deal package recently, you may have found a problem opening or finding the entire file for Poor Man III…let me know & I will send you the file in a zip format (226 files are compressed)…Win XP & 7 have a free unzip utility built in, but if you don’t have one, get a free program Zip Reader 8 at:

Microsoft is ending its free blogger and we’re migrating some of our content to WordPress and may have to migrate our downloadable Docs to Google…as a test, we uploaded the free 21 Cutting Edge Strategies to Protect Your Privacy to Google Docs so test it out by downloading the free file! Most likely, we’ll be transferring our other files there too in the coming weeks…work never ends!

Your Contrarian, muckraking Poor Man!

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Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.

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