Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources!
In This Issue:
MI takes top award for Red Tape State
Quick, improvised weapons to defend yourself with
EBay alternatives & listing strategy to increase sales
Giant sucking sound heard is the decimation of working Americans
I think almost every economist would agree that government gets itself in trouble when it tries to interfere with voluntary behavior." — Milton Friedman
Michigan fails its citizens-ranks 48th on the happiness scale
…Or why are stupid people allowed to rule?
Using a variety of unscientific, but hands on methods, the Poor Man has ranked Michigan at the bottom of the list in citizen-friendly states. Ranking is based on government caused red tape, cost of living and ease of use.
While most state governments at least make an attempt to help citizens, MI does not. Detroit and Flint rank the worst in the country when it comes to crime. MI is the 2nd highest state in the union to insure a vehicle (LA is #1). It also ranks low in attracting new business investment (read: jobs) because of rules, regulation and red tape.
MI does not want its citizens to protecting themselves either. MI has banned its citizens from owning non-lethal weapons including mace, pepper spray or stun guns and obtaining a pistol is even tougher requiring cash and lots of time. Michigan does not recognize Concealed Carry permits issued by other states as they use a “different” FBI for background checks so they can charge you high fees.
I was surprised and angered at a recent phone call from a very loud county official yelling and threatening me with legal action over the placement of an older mobile home on some property we own. Obviously, this poor citizen did not know of all the various requirements in place as none are posted on their website and beside, they don't own the acreage, we do and I thought private property rights were guaranteed in this country so long as one doesn't pose a health hazard.
We 'rehabbed' a similar mobile on our other property (in a more citizen friendly, green state) complete with Florida room and front deck and secondary roof and it looks great and we did not require the permission of any local government bureaucrat as it should be.
But apparently, county officials here are against recycling of such homes or from what we can determine, they oppose low cost housing in these tough times. We can only assume they would rather see folks homeless and plenty of stuff be placed into landfills...how inappropriate for the growing green movement everywhere in the country except Michigan.
Detroit ranked number one as the worst city in the nation to live (Forbes Misery Index).
The University of Warwick, CNS News, and Forbes Magazine and other entities were researched to reach this conclusion. Nevada ranks No. 2 while Texas ranks high on the user-friendly scale. They all could take a lesson from Norway which ranks highest in the world in citizen satisfaction. Let’s hope the new governor of MI can get things going along the right path.
I ran into my friend Dave this afternoon. He’s a guy I buy silver coins from and he tells me prices went up again today…what a shock!
Gold went up $41 an ounce and silver went up $1 per ounce. As I warned in the last issue, the Fed is playing some dangerous games to essentially buy back the debt.
Because of these actions, the price of food and fuel are already rising and will likely see hikes about 10 cents a gallon or more by Thanksgiving and it has nothing to do with supply. Americans are using less fuel but in effect, the Fed action will act like a hidden tax as our dollar becomes worth less on the world market…
Giant Sucking Sound
The reality is that no matter how smart, how strong, how educated or how hard working American workers are, they just cannot compete with people who are desperate to put in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world. After all, what corporation in their right mind is going to pay an American worker 10 times more (plus benefits) to do the same job? See how much Americans have lost in the past few years at the end of this week’s bulletin.
Daylight Wasting Time Is Coming To An End
It's Time To Set Your Clocks Back An Hour!
This week’s tools, tips & teasers
Facebook is a wonderful tool to connect with family and friends, problem is that some of the time we'd like the things we post to only be viewable by certain people.
Here’s how to post more privately…
First, get on Facebook and enter your desired post in the "What's on your mind?" area.
Now, click the lock icon and choose Customize
In the resulting window, you'll see options to choose specifically who to make the post visible to, or who to hide the post from. All you need to do to hide a post from someone (or multiple people) is type their name into the box as shown in the graphic below. As long as they are your friend, their name should pop up for you to select.
When you're done, click Save Setting.
Now all you have to do is click Share and your post will go out to everyone except those you specified.
What You Own, a site that offers free software that will help you inventory what you own. There are a lot of practical reasons to create an inventory of what you own. What if your house burned down? What if you were robbed? What if you're moving and need a better way to know what you have, so that you can pare down or store correctly? I suggest that before you download the software and go to town making an inventory, that you read the FAQ section. This will answer a lot of the questions you may have or that may spring up before you get started
Find Overstocks, odd lots, customer returns, one day auctions starting a $1
Winter Proof your car battery
When your engine is cool, remove the battery caps, clean with a wire brush and then cover with untinted lip balm before replacing the cap. The petroleum base will form a waterproof layer protecting them from salt and snow.
Spiffy for Gmail-free notifier for new email. It’s free & allows customization
More eBay Alternatives
Although eBay remains the largest auction site, it is being challenged by Amazon and other selling platforms. Here are a couple of others you might want to explore, many offering lower or free costs and better features.
>>This site provides free tools to help you build your own web store & you can import your eBay listings.
>>This site is a hybrid of eBay, and etsy and social network…think garage sale.
One key to getting top dollar on eBay auctions-is to maximize exposure. The Poor Man does this by having his listings automatically appear on Facebook. Here’s another idea. Post the item on a Thursday and set the auction to a 10-day listing which allows your posting to appear during the course of two weekends. Saturday & Sunday are two highest traffic days. (10-day listings cost more so be sure your item justifies this).
Snag Special Deals-this site guarantees its deals are valid-good for vouchers obtained from sites like Groupon.com or LivingSocial.com (more than 500 sites have jumped on the group buying discount bandwagon).
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
-- Sigmund Freud
Common Goods As Self-Defense Weapons
By Lost Johnny
We are never unarmed, we can always use something as a weapon. This article is dedicated to use common goods as a self-defense weapons.
One of the most popular ordinary things being used for self-defense is undoubtedly the simple pen. It has several advantages: absolute legality, small size, and, that is the most important, pen is usually not considered as a potential weapon by attackers, so you can carry it openly, attached to your front pocket. The simple pen looks harmless enough, but you can use it successfully as relatively powerful weapon.
As a self-defense weapon, pen can be used like a dagger or a stiletto. Use a pen to stab assailant’s body/chest/neck. If he continues with the attack, you can also use your pen to give him an eye gouge. Alternatively, you can use your pen to stab his groin as many times as you can - then escape! You can also apply pen to break body grips.
Editors Note: As previously mentioned, a can of RAID or Black Flag Wasp killer spray (the one with the extended spray head) is pretty good to use instead of mace or pepper spray and is readily available. We also mentioned using a knitting needle as a weapon…thanks grandma!
Nail file is being widely used as a women’s self-defense weapon. The defense tactics with a nail file are quite similar to those with a pen: quick stabs at an attacker’s face, eyes, neck, groin.
Umbrella – can be successfully used as a cane, striking the header and wave strokes to an assailant’s body. It allows to block enemy’s hits and edged weapon attacks. Umbrella with a handle of a bent (Ã-like) shape one may use as a tonfa.
Hair spray/ air freshener/ deodorant spray can also become self-defense weapon. Spray them in an assailant’s eyes; the aerosol’s components act as an irritants, cause short-timed enemy’s blindness and disorientation. There’re known some facts about another spray use possibility: spray aerosol on an attacker’s body or face and light by a cigarette lighter. Ordinary household spray turns into the small but harmful flame-thrower.
Computer cable with a massive plug-and-socket at the end one may use as a flexible chain-like weapon. This improvised weapon allows to keep self-defender at a distance from an attacker and strike intense blows.
It’s not hard to find a stone (or a brick/solid piece of asphalt) in the street and use it as a defensive weapon. Stones serve people as a weapons since prehistoric times and are being used by a modern street fighters as before. There’re two different ways of use of stone in a battle: use it as a missile weapon throwing at assailant and use it as impact weapon squeezed in your fist. The first way is actually not very efficient, but allows to keep defender at a distance from his enemy; the second is potentially more successive, but compels self-defender to come into close combat. Strike quick and powerful blows at an assailant’s head. If you want to win, your stone-fighting technique must be utterly cruel and brutal.
Glass bottle (for beer, whisky, wine, etc.) is known as popular street weapon. Bottle is usually used as baton striking opponent’s head. Often even one strong blow upon somebody’s head is quite enough to put him out of action. Then the bottle breaks, it transforms to a very dangerous and impressive weapon – the neck with a lot of very sharp and non-uniform ends.
Plastic bottle with water – can be used as a baton which usually doesn’t break.
The overall efficiency of this improvised weapon depends on its weight (the volume of water it contains). Plastic bottle with 3 and more pints of water is really powerful weapon. Moreover, it usually doesn’t leave a visible traces of strokes on its victims’ bodies. Due to this feature, some police officers use such batons for inflicting torture on suspect people.
Electric flashlight in solid metal casing (Mag Lite type) is versatile tool, being used not only for lighting, but for self-defense purposes. Many police officers and security guards use it as a metal baton. This tool is suitable for striking short and quick blows on an opponent’s head, shoulders and hands, short-distance header blows on a face, neck and groin, for blocking enemy’s attacks.
“We’ve never been in this unstable position in
The entire currency history of 3,000 years.”
--Nobel Laureate, Robert Mundell
Wall Street Journal-10/2010
Victory! Federal Court Upholds Amazon Users' Privacy and Free Speech Rights
Last month, a federal district court in Seattle ruled that the North Carolina Department of Revenue's (NCDOR) demands for detailed information about the purchases of Amazon.com customers violated the Constitution and the federal Video Privacy Protection Act….too many governments are far too reaching…now NY needs a lesson in leaving the Native Americans alone.
Ebay & Antiques Roadshow=Microcosm of US Economy
I’m frequently asked why I spend so much time on economic issues in this letter. That should be apparent-the economy affects all of us and how well we live. Years ago I used to following analogy to teach my kids about how the economy works.
EBay started off as a brilliant place to sell antiques and collectibles & it accounted for about 60% of revenues in the beginning. With the advent of the PBS Antiques Roadshow series, most Americans (the show is based on a British version) came to realize how many collectibles they owned and soon eBay was flooded with the same item which drove prices down.
Once sellers of mainstream products got on board, they too drove prices down. Laptops, still a big seller, have come down in price as manufactures flooded eBay. The same applied to real estate. There was a glut of high priced/over priced homes on the market and few builders were creating stock for the middle or lower middle class (teachers, firemen, etc.) and when urged by HUD to start making loans to minorities and lesser qualified borrowers, we created another bubble.
The glut of everything fed the gluttons no more as I told these kids…simple economics that our government ignores as well. As more investors flee the US dollar, precious metal prices increase. As Washington and the Fed print more fiat money, they must find buyers for more than 40% of the national debt (growing at a rate of 41 cents for every dollar spent by the government).
All financial markets have been heavily focused on the U.S. and the Fed's plans for more quantitative easing…economic history strongly suggests this isn’t a wise move.
Because of all this government chicanery, the middle class continues to lose in America.
Here are the statistics to prove it:
• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• or the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income
I wonder how long Washington can or will continue this delusion of debt accumulation and how much longer you will survive under our current direction?
Yours for scraping by,
The ever grinning, ever amazed, ever wondering why stupid people are allowed to rule…
Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.
A shallow planet production (getting ever more shallow)