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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Food Stamps as Collateral-Poor Man's Take on Crazy Economy

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

In This Issue:

1. Communists are now our friends
2. 10 Riskiest places to give out Social Security number
3. Cool products you can get for free
4. Send a free ecard or one with money
5. Humorous cartoon movie explaining Fed moves
6. How to properly check basement for water problems
7. Surviving in the City

Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: 'Account Overdrawn.'"
-- Ayn Rand

The Paradox of US Recession-Or, Can I use food stamps as collateral?

There is much confusion in America surrounding the recession. The nightly news brings stories of homeless and hungry, foreclosures and federal actions…but we also see stories of sold out Carnival Cruise ships limping back to the United States or one day staggering sales of new video games and Ipod phones.

I see record shattering prices paid at auction for all kinds of items (including a recent gun auction we attended, but that doesn’t surprise me as much) and I can’t help but wonder - where are these people getting the money?

Train traffic is another economic indicator and a set of tracks runs very close to our home and it runs 24/7. Last night, within a 25-minute time span, seven trains went by. That tells us someone isn’t hurting.

Does everyone get a good paycheck, perhaps working for the government? We know government workers earn on average 60% more than there private sector counterparts, but even state and local governments are hurting. So many contradictory messages floating about such as this one:

Car, retail sales boost outlook for economy
The economic outlook has brightened noticeably in recent days, with a splurge of car-buying by consumers unexpectedly lifting retail sales and businesses putting some of their nearly $2 trillion in stashed cash to work buying other companies with an eye toward growth.

According to the US Census, which has a data base dating back to 1946 for federal employment, current "civilian" employment is about the same it was during the Regan era - slightly under 2,000,000. The largest growth in Federal employment since 9/11 is for TSA (airport security) and the . We now have more than 19 million federal employees (about 310 million citizens).

Scroll down to near the end of this week’s bulletin to watch a damn cute little video which explains the Fed’s QE2 actions…you’ll love it. Thanks Mike for sharing!

As I’ve written previously, here in MI it’s tough to get a tradesman to even return a call. They all must be busy working on other projects? The local commissars still think everyone has a whole bunch of money and income as they discriminate against lower cost housing projects…so exactly what gives?

This is the time of year to stock up on seasonal grocery items such as turkey and baking goods. Purchase extra sale items and stockpile them away for later in the year. If you find butter, for example, on sale, buy extra and freeze it.

Finally, it would appear many eBay customers believe I offer lay-away. At last count, I had a dozen unpaid purchases from my storefront?! A large uptick in slow paying ebayers.

Here’s what readers can buy the Poor Man for Christmas…get me a Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the zero emission, solar & battery powered aircraft. I’ve always wanted a helicopter, but this will work!

When the socialist economies of Eastern Europe disintegrated, the cause was evident to nearly everyone: the stifling directives of central planning had all but obliterated individual initiative and accountability. The cure was just as obvious: a healthy dose of entrepreneurship and private enterprise."
-- Dr. Lawrence W. Reed
(1953-) President of the Foundation for Economic Education

This week’s cool stuff n resources

Cool Products and Services You Can Get for Free
Look hard enough and you can find a bevy of 100% discounts, especially online. "Facebook is a great source of freebies right now, as so many brands try to attract fans and establish themselves," says Julia Scott, who runs the popular blog

One App Will Set You Free…SIRI Personal Assistant uses natural language processing and personal preferences/context to understand complex requests using your voice commands as prompts. Cost-FREE

DIY Clay Pot Smoker & Other Projects Can be found at:

10 Riskiest Places to Give Your Social Security Number
We should always be leary about giving our social security number, but at some places, it is more risky to do so. McAfee looked at places that have had the most data breaches.

More consumers are selling the gift cards they already possess for around 10% to 20% less than face value to third-party sites like,, and Sales at are up 1,000% through October of this year compared to the same period in 2009, says Kuadey. says sales have more than doubled through the middle of this year. “People would rather use the cash anywhere they like than be restricted to a specific store,” says Dan Horne, professor of marketing who tracks the gift-card industry at Providence College. In turn, consumers who shop at specific stores can buy the cards at a discount; for example, recently listed a SpaFinder gift card worth $100 for $86 and a $37 Home Depot card for …

Read more: Why Cash Is the New Plastic - Spending - Budgeting -

Send a free Thanksgiving e-card…animated and personalized with your message
Even though the popularity of gift cards seems to have waned somewhat, try this new service to make it more personal by uploading a special image and message. Go to:

Does your kid have a wish list?
Send a letter to Santa via Macy’s which has placed special boxes at their mall locations. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Dave Guindon’s eBay feedback analyzer software-free

If your furnace quits or breaks down try these eight simple solutions before you call for service help. You can solve the problem and avoid a $200 service call.

Make Your Own Windshield Scratch Remover
Ever see those guys standing on a street corner offering to remove scratches from your auto glass free of charge? Most of the time it is a scam designed to bilk your insurance company. Grit on your wiper blades will cause scratches (along with neighborhood kids) making night time driving a pain in the butt as the light from oncoming cars can be blinding especially as one gets older. Try this home made approach before calling your insurance agent.

Jeweler’s rouge
4 oz. of ammonia
1 gal of water

Get out that handy portable drill you have and fasten a lamb’ wool buffing pad to it. You might want to wear some rubber gloves and use a safety rated indoor/outdoor extension cord for your drill.

Rub the rouge onto the buffing pad until it is coated with powder. Place on your windshield where the scratches are and turn on. If the scratches aren’t too deep, this action will restore the glass. Afterward, mix the ammonia and water in a bucket (this is why you might want rubber gloves) and wash the windshield and then dry with some paper towels.
Note: you can get the rouge from a jeweler and ask for a grade suitable for polishing glass.

Damp Basement?
We didn’t find basements too often while living in AZ but MI has many and they’re often referred to as MI basements due to dampness. Here’s a pretty quick way to determine if the moisture is seepage from inside or merely condensation from inside.

Tape a piece of aluminum foil tightly to the inside of your basement wall. After a few days, examine the foil. If the wall side is wet, you have seepage. If the room side is wet, the problem is condensation. If both sides are wet, you need to waterproof that basement and use a dehumidifier.

Surviving in the City
This article appears on the End Times Report webpage
( and should be required reading for any individual
who is preparing for 'hard times', regardless of cause. This article is from Christopher Parrett's book,
LDS Preparedness Manual" which is posted for free downloading to any and all at The author also has a web site at This has been around since Y2K days and is still relevant.

Download one of the themed shopping lists from The Thanksgiving list features a cute turkey graphic and lists items commonly purchased for that holiday. The site also has a Christmas menu planner and a gift-shopping list template. Everything at the site is free to download and print, and you can choose from PDF or editable DOC versions. (The DOC versions are especially handy, because you can type right into the lists using Microsoft Word or another compatible word processing program.) Here's link to the holiday lists, but be sure to check out the master grocery list and other printables as well:

Vanishing Point: How to disappear in America without a trace

May we be a channel of blessings for all that we meet.
-- Edgar Cayce, American spiritualist (1877-1945)

Guest Editorial

Our Vanishing Rights
Our inalienable rights, guaranteed by the United States Constitution, have steadily become alienable. The actions of Congress and the States are restricting our freedom.

Years ago, with the advent of the automobile, when codifying this new means of transportation, states decreed that having a driver's license was a right. Today, having a driver's license is a privilege. It would be awkward, if not impossible, for the courts to penalize individuals by taking away their right to drive a vehicle.

In many states, you can be ticketed for not having a seat belt fastened when driving a vehicle or not wearing a helmet operating a motorcycle and riding a bicycle.

There are federal and state laws preventing smoking in certain prescribed areas. There are a multitude of rules and regulations dictating how businesses, professions, and manufacturing can be managed.

Politically correct speech, though not a formal law, is an incursion on our vocabulary. A subtle control on how we express ourselves.

Undeniably, some of these laws, such as requiring seat belts and helmets, are logical measures to lessen injuries if there are accidents. Non-the-less, if some people are foolish enough not to take these precautions, it is their constitutional right to make those choices. This philosophy of "the government knows what is best for you" leads to complete control of our lives. Big Brother telling us what to do is a Dictatorship not a Democracy.

Some of these controls and restrictions may be unconstitutional. Yet, there is no uproar by the passive public, which results in the further removal of our rights. One feature in the proposed national health insurance plan calls for mandatory insurance for all citizens.

The appeal and success of our Republic is based largely upon the freedom its citizens enjoy, unrestricted by authority. Let's not squander anymore of our constitutional rights to our control-seeking, elected officials. Vote the incumbents out of office to re-establish that they are our servants, not our masters.

By: A. Woodrow
Author, How to Make Your Vote Count
Founder, Democracy Conservator Foundation
"Preserving our democratic representative government through smart voting"

Your property rights are under assault
There’s no doubt private property was one of the founding tenets of our country but state and local governments have increasingly violated those rights.

Private property rights have attributes in addition to determining the use of a resource. One is the exclusive right to the services of the resource…
weakened private property rights are socialism and “commonly owned” resources. Under socialism, government agents—those whom the government assigns—exercise control over resources. The rights of these agents to make decisions about the property they control have expanded greatly in America without regard to the rights of the citizens who have paid for the property.

I have no need to run for president anymore. The Democratic Party has adopted my platform!
--Norman Thomas-Socialist Party/1940

Thanks Mike for sharing this…

I Should Have Moved to OK vs. Communist MI…drat!!!

Several weeks ago, OK passed a law, declaring Oklahoma as a Sovereign state, not under the Federal Government directives. Joining Texas, Montana and Utah as the only states to do so. More states are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolina's, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia,Mississippi, Florida. Save your confederate money, it appears the South is about to rise up once again. HJR 1003 (Wooops!)

The federal Government has made bold steps to take away our guns. Oklahoma, a week ago, passed a law confirming people in this state have the right to bear arms and transport them in their vehicles.

Just this month, the state has voted and passed a law that ALL driver's license exams will be printed in English, and only English, and no other language. They have been called racist for doing this, but the fact is that ALL of the road signs are in English only.

Oklahoma recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from unless they want to get a green card and become an American citizen.

The property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable.
--Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations


**A Mystery Missile if fired off the coast of California to who knows where and no one will admit who or what did it.
In the same area a cruise ship is disabled, the Chinese have submarines in the area and the president is in Asia for 10 days. A few days earlier UFO's were spotted and filmed over New York City and El Paso, Tx and Pennsylvania

**Airport security began confiscating little old ladies' knitting needles and breaking the mouse-sized nail files off of passengers' nail clippers. Surprisingly, no decrease in the number of hijacking attempts by little old ladies and manicurists was noted.

**Humorous, must-watch animated video explaining Fed economic actions.

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Parting Thoughts…our friends in China

A reader sent this note-I find it hard to argue with…ever wonder why we’ve cozied up to Communist China, once an avowed enemy? It’s because the US is becoming more communist every day and we‘re now owned by it!

There was a time when we rounded up Communists, now we’re their buddy. We have Communists within & without…for the first time, true income equality will appear (for all but the political class), but the only thing available to share will be poverty. Ask a Russian.

Chinese missiles can ravage U.S. bases
China's military can destroy five out of six U.S. bases in Asia with waves of missile strikes as the result of its large-scale military buildup that threatens U.S. access and freedom of navigation in East Asia, according to a forthcoming congressional report.

Communism in the United States is something of an anomaly. The basic principles of communism are, by design, at odds with the free enterprise foundation of U.S. capitalism. The freedom of individuals to privately own property, start a business, and own the means of production is a basic tenet of U.S. government, and communism opposes this arrangement. However, there have been, are, and probably always will be communists in the United States.

Charges that the federal government is inching ever closer to communism are far from new – this 1955 academic editorial contends that arresting all card-carrying members of the communist party would have little effect on our march toward communism: Our own politicians will get us there quite handily on their own.

The Von Mises Institute, in Human Action, argues that Marxist redistribution is a direct form of coercive suppression. They say that both the initial and ongoing forms of redistribution are direct coercion of the victims.

Milton Friedman argued that the absence of voluntary economic activity in communism makes it too easy for repressive political leaders to grant themselves coercive powers. Friedman's view was also shared by Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes, both of whom believed that capitalism is vital for freedom to survive and thrive.

When most middle class wealth is built on jobs, no jobs = no middle class. So will the jobs be back soon? Short answer: No. And the main reason, politicians' speeches to the contrary being lies, is deliberate government policy

In Saving Freedom, Senator Jim DeMint addresses his concern that the United States - the world's great bastion of freedom - is sliding toward socialism. Federal control now extends in various ways to education, health care, financial markets, real estate, businesses, and religion. The walls between government and the private sector are getting thinner every day.
Out-of-control government spending and increased debt are draining the economic and political strength of our people. Senator DeMint provides a firsthand account of the behind-the-scenes actions in Congress that are altering the character of our Nation. He illuminates key principles of freedom and how they are being compromised by big government. More important, he lays out an action plan to reclaim America's freedom based on legislation that would reduce debt, fix Social Security, and provide a tax credit for every family to buy health insurance.

That’s it for this issue from your merry muckraker-I am looking out for you!

A Shallow Planet Production

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