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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Surgical Shopping, Fed QE2 Makes Prices Rise/Scams

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

In This Issue:

1. Living in small homes
2. Free credit scores
3. Don’t waste your money on these auto scams
4. Avoid or Post Scams at Site Jabber
5. Free magazine archives
6. Rise of the Surgical Shopper

On account of us being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only
people in the world that has to keep a government four years no matter what it
-- Will Rogers

“We Will Bury You.” Was Khruschev right or will we do it ourselves?
Musings on fighting City Hall & the state of America

Some of you may not remember the famous 1956 speech made by the Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev about how Communism would bury the United States. His premise was the working class would rise up and bury capitalism from within.

That may come to pass and as we have witnessed much of the middle class disappearing, losers to the capitalism game and indeed, our country has adopted many of the planks of the Communist Party (as outlined two issues ago). Capitalism is good so long as greed doesn’t get in the way and the playing field remains level…something which has not happened here in recent years.

As most of us know too, just because something is a law, doesn’t make it right or ethical. Most would agree, for example, the right to vote for women or Blacks was against the law at one time and that did not make it right.

The income tax was against the law until globalists infested Congress and managed to amend the Constitution and allowed the fed to take control of our currency.

As America slowly succumbs to a socialistic state, run by county commissars and politburos, we will see more of our Bill of Rights vanish and there is no easy way to fight back.

Locally, there is a fellow now serving time in prison for his attempts at fighting local government infractions. Larry Wilcox chased a state trooper off his waste management business property after the cop had pulled over a suspected traffic scofflaw onto his business parking lot. To make a long story short, Larry soon faced a Waco-like visit from several state and local ‘authorities,’ complete with helicopters and tanks.

Larry, not one to take things lightly, filed liens on the property of something like 80 local cops, judges, and other government types. A big no-no as government types dislike any use of the legal system against them. They will use it to BURY you however and will use overwhelming numbers and resources (using your tax dollars, of course) to achieve that goal.

The average politician is ego driven and somewhat childish by nature and should be nurtured in advance through bribes and favors in the form of campaign contributions and the like.

Therefore, one should know that you never attack a superior force head-on.

All Warfare is based on deception
--Sun-Tzu, Art of War

My friends, let this be a lesson. Without massive public support, you cannot fight city hall. You must use a bigger city hall such as the federal government to file grievances against local government agencies and most good lawyers can find violations of civil rights laws against local politicians and other government critters…this happened frequently with ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) laws. When this law was enacted, plenty of local governments got slammed by inventive citizens.

Another useful tool is rumor. For example, local tradesman and retailers don’t take kindly to local bureau twits when they learn their action costs them money and business. Of course, let others spread the news. You simply plant the seeds.

It all sounds Machiavellian and it is. So let the feds or others do the dirty work whenever possible.

"[I]f we won’t choose to pay the price of liberty, then by default we shall suffer the cost of servitude -- whether it be the iron chains of a tyrannical oligarchy or the regulatory chains of unelected, faceless bureaucrats. When we witness our neighbors abused by tyrants, will we skulk away and hope we’re not next? Or will we stand by them and challenge -- as freedom-loving Americans—the tyranny of lawless leaders."
-- Phil Trieb
Source: The New American,

This week’s good stuff & it’s all good!

Build an Earth Sheltered Home for $5K-kind of cool! Scroll down further to read more about small homes.

Magazines provide a fascinating look back into history. When you read them, you can get a sense of what was going on at the time they were written, what the popular sentiment about certain issues was at the time, and get a glimpse into how people lived their lives.

This site provides old magazine articles on a plethora of different topics and they're free! All you have to do is choose a category that interests you, click into it, and start reading. The articles are saved in .PDF files so that they're easy to save.

You've probably seen the "free" credit score offers. Technically they are free,
but you have to sign up for a trial of credit monitoring service and give them
a credit card. Fail to cancel the service before the trial expires, and they charge
your credit card.
Fortunately, you can get your credit score completely free, and without giving
up your credit card number. The truly free credit score comes from Credit Karma

Pouring This Stuff In Your Car Is Money Down The Drain

As the economy has plummeted and the recovery has stagnated, it seems that companies promising false hope are on the rise. In the automotive realm, these are the firms peddling formulas that claim to solve various mechanical problems such as engine knocks, transmission slippage and oil consumption. Some even claim that their products will enable your car’s engine to harmlessly run without oil. Preying on the ignorance and wishful desires of the public, these products are snake oil of the first order

Food Inflation Accelerating

Cooking oils, left behind in this year’s surge in agriculture prices, are poised to catch up with grains as record demand cuts stockpiles by the most in 17 years.
Inventories of soybean oil and palm oil, used by Nestle SA and Unilever and in everything from Hellmann’s mayonnaise to Snickers candy bars, will drop 12 percent in the coming year.

From the National Science Foundation. If you run across a questionable site, one that looks too good to be true, you can now come to Site Jabber and find out if it is on the up an up! Or if you've already been scammed, you can head to Site Jabber and write a review of the site that scammed you so that others can avoid the same fate

USPS to Raise Priority Mail Rates in January
The USPS is raising the rates of Priority Mail packages in
January and is introducing two new Priority Mail envelopes.

Recipe Gold Mine, where you will find the mother lode of recipes

As a survival expert I’m trained to survive extremes in weather, wildlife, terrains and scenarios of all types. Surviving an extreme government is the last thing I planned for. I never thought we would need to prepare for Uncle Sam poking his finger in our chests.
Like many of us, I’m tired. I’m tired of ever expanding and encroaching government and the career politicians and bureaucrats that staff them. I’m tired of our Constitution being treated like a speed bump to the agendas of those trying to strip our freedoms at every turn. I’m tired of ever increasing taxes from the local to the federal levels and those that are busy spending and hocking our futures. I’m tired of many in the mainstream media and their near constant spin.
The video premiere for The Brian Brawdy Show, Liberty’s Line in the Sand at

Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Live Well in Less than 1,000 Square Feet
From Natural Home, by Carol Venolia

During the past 60 years, the size of American homes has exploded, but the trend is now moving in the opposite direction, proving once more that bigger isn’t always better. In 1950 the average American home size was 983 square feet; by 2009 the average home was 2,343 square feet — even as family size shrank. Finally, it appears people are rethinking housing size. In 2010, average home size is down 9 percent, and many communities — such as California’s Marin County and Georgia’s DeKalbe County — have enacted laws limiting new home size.

A moment’s thought yields a multitude of reasons to consider living in less than 1,000 square feet. Smaller homes generally cost less and require less maintenance than larger ones. A small house consumes fewer natural resources in construction and requires less energy for heating and cooling. But perhaps the most compelling reason for going small is that it feels good. People who live in small, well-designed houses say their homes feel cozier, and they love having everything they need within reach.

Design makes all the difference. A poorly designed 900-square-foot house can feel smaller than a well-designed 400-square-foot house. Homes feel cramped when they have small, dark rooms and insufficient storage space. Well-designed small spaces feel open, efficient and cozy. As architect and small-space specialist Henry Yorke Mann proves in his homes, living in a cozy space doesn’t mean sacrificing convenience or livability. “You don’t want to get too mean about things,” he said.

The Spirit of the Sea
Keith and Judy Scott loved the 450-square-foot cabin Mann designed for them on their British Columbia property so much that they moved out of their main house and now live happily in the small home. “We never thought we could live in 450 square feet,” Keith said. “The home we’d lived in was 5,000 square feet. But the spaces just work right. They’re not too big, and they’re not too small.”

How did the architect do it? “Anyone who’s lived on a boat knows that there are lots of things you can do to save space,” Mann said. He hid storage everywhere, including under the stairs, and he didn’t skimp on quality. The materials are beautiful and earthy. The kitchen and bathroom are efficient and luxurious. Keith calls the sleeping loft “a really comfortable nest.” The vaulted ceiling is expansive, and thoughtfully placed glass embraces the sky, trees, birds and water.

“A home has to have a spirit,” Mann said. “It has to have its own presence — something you can settle into, that you can be quiet in. It’s a question of design; that’s the most important thing.”

“It’s like a little jewel box, a beautiful piece of wood work,” Keith said. “I wish everybody would build half the size of house and use the space right — and use an architect to design it.”

Tumbleweed: A Tiny Home Tumbles Along
In the past 12 years, Jay Shafer has lived in homes with less than 100 square feet. At 130 square feet, the first tiny house he built in Iowa City, Iowa, was too small for the city’s minimum house size requirement, so Shafer put it on wheels and called it a trailer. Through his Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, Shafer has spent the past decade designing and building tiny homes for those who share his love of intense coziness.
“When it comes to my domestic environment, anything that’s not working for me works against me,” Shafer said. “More stuff means more space and more cost. So I’m liberated by small spaces.”

It all comes down to quality of space, not quantity. And storage. “If your stuff’s not out of sight, it can drive you crazy,” Shafer said. “On the other hand, when everything you need is right there in reach, it feels great.”

Now that Shafer is married and has a baby, he’s added another criterion. “To make a small space feel big, every individual has to have private space,” he said. Shafer designed a 400-square-foot home for his family, with private space for all. Someday, he imagines each family member having their own tiny house on wheels — “kind of a little family village.”

A Garden Home Grows Great Little Spaces
Michael Ann Brown wanted a small house in a large garden. Her 1,200-square-foot house just felt too big. She disliked unused space and fondly recalled once having lived in a small trailer with a big sunroom.

The result is a 996-square-foot, one-bedroom house, perched high on her south-facing slope. The main living areas face south for passive solar gain. Outdoor spaces include a screened porch on the east, a narrow porch on the south (to avoid blocking winter sun), a deep west-facing porch for shade from the hot afternoon sun, and a cool summer patio on the north. The outdoor rooms expand the living space and make the house more energy-efficient. “I absolutely love that west porch,” Michael Ann said. “I cook out there. I often bring out a glass of wine, sit in the porch swing and watch the sunset. Who needs more?”
Indoors, the architects used some classic spatial tricks. They kept the living spaces open to one another yet subtly divided, striking a balance between lots of small rooms, which feels cramped, and one big room, which is uninteresting. You can subtly divide spaces using ceiling or floor height. In this case, they designed the floor slab so it steps down two feet from a higher bedroom/bathroom/laundry/storage area to a lower living/dining/kitchen. This helps subtly divide the spaces and gives the living areas a space-expanding 10-foot ceiling while giving the bedrooms and bathrooms a more intimate feeling, and maintains money-saving flat ceiling framing.

Well-placed windows and French doors add to the feeling of space and light. “I like the amount of glass and the views outward,” Michael Ann said. “At the same time, I like how solid and cozy this small house feels.”

Excerpted from Natural Home, a national magazine that provides practical ideas, inspiring examples and expert opinions about healthy, ecologically sound, beautiful homes. To read more articles from Natural Home magazine, please visit or call (800) 340-5846 to subscribe. (C) 2010

Most governments are an expensive, unnecessary inconvenience.

US Banks at Risk of Insolvency…PM reported this previously

Nouriel Roubini, the star economist whose gloomy forecasts have earned him the nickname of Dr. Doom, is at it again…

This time he has taken to Twitter to predict pain. The New York University professor was reacting to a report by Laurie Goodman, senior managing director at Amherst Securities, who says one in five distressed homeowners in the U.S. faces, or may face, foreclosure, Housing Wire reports.

She says 11.5 million home loans are non-performing or highly distressed at present.

And Roubini says that spells trouble. “Amherst Securities Goodman estimates that 11.5 million households could default on their mortgages, not the 4 million priced in by markets,” he tweets.

“If 11.5 million more households default on their mortgages, most U.S. banks would be insolvent again. That's why Goodman's estimates are scary.”

>>><<< Is Every Corporation bent on screwing its market?
…mirrors what the Poor Man has been saying for years & why you need a Plan B!

Ina Steiner, AuctionBytes Blog, has a very interesting post about a long time seller who was just suspended by eBay for one year because she had a couple of low DSR hits. Be sure and read some of the comments on Ina’s post.
What this tells me is what I have been telling my readers for years: You never want to put all your eggs in one basket. eBay is still a good place to sell –but if you think they care the slightest bit about you, your financial well-being, profits or success you are mistaken. You are nothing but a fee-machine.

eBay is a corporation. They answer to Wall Street –not eBay members. All eBay policies are driven by one thing – earning more fees. Anything that gets in the way of that is road- kill to them. Lest you think I am being too harsh –most (but not all) large public corporations are like this. I have had experiences with Google that are far worse than this. There is something about these types of businesses. Once the original founders leave or they just get so big –they forget what got them there and take on an arrogance that is only matched by government bureaucrats.

Your only defense is to expand your business to other venues such as Amazon, your own website, Facebook and other selling venues such as Etsy,, ePier, Bonanza and so on. eBay is still a good place to sell and many sellers including myself are making good money there –but you would be foolish to think that eBay cares a whit about you. Everyone needs a Plan-B. Read more at Skip McGrath’s excellent newsletter:

“There’s no business that’s too small for government to torture.” - John Stossel

Parting shots…

During the past couple of issues I’ve pointed our what I believe has been the folly of the fed. I’m not alone as other world leaders have cried foul too as has our own Ron Paul. As a result of the fed action…

Silver EXPLODES 5.8%! Gold surging!
Global firestorm raging over Fed

One of our readers wrote to thank me for the ‘heads up’ as to how this action will prove costly to the American public via more inflation…

”thanks for the information you provide. I told my wife to stock up on stuff and she did. Thank goodness too as the very next day, butter went up 50 cents a pound! Your advice has saved our family a lot of money and time over the past few months. We recommend your letter to everyone we know.”

Ron Paul: Fed Will 'Self Destruct' as Easing Kills the Dollar…

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, says the Federal Reserve will eventually self-destruct because of its efforts to revive the U.S. economy with more monetary easing.

Paul told CNBC that the Fed’s decision last Wednesday to spend an additional $600 billion in quantitative easing — government bonds in a bid to make loans cheaper and get Americans to spend more — won't work and will destroy the dollar's value around the world.

“They (the Fed) can’t manage a dollar like this,” Paul told CNBC. “People are going to desert the dollar. I think the Chinese are hinting that already: They’re not wanting our dollars as much as they want raw materials and other things."

As a result of renewed inflationary pressures brought about by the fed, Americans are becoming what’s being termed surgical shoppers.

The days when shopping was a leisure activity unto itself are over, at the nation's largest shopping centers and beyond. Americans are being precise in how they shop, regardless of what they are buying.
They're visiting fewer stores, checking off their lists and walking away. They're spending fewer minutes online when they shop. They aren't stockpiling food or clothes or much of anything that I can see.

The shift is greatest among low-income Americans.

You can see it during the wee hours of the morning on the first day of each month. That's when government assistance electronically drops into debit cards of millions of Americans. So they line up to get the basics just after midnight, a scene that's increasingly common across the country. Stores that close overnight report crowds first thing in the morning.

The commercial real estate industry is likely to keep struggling in part because of more targeted shopping by Americans. J.C. Penney Co. CEO Mike Ullman calls this behavior "appointment shopping." He's seeing more shoppers only visiting stores when they have a specific reason to buy - Christmas, back-to-school, Mother's Day or another occasion.

Meanwhile, websites like Groupon are becoming more popular. Since its launch in late 2008, the site has attracted 25 million subscribers around the world. They band together to get the lowest price on an item, then pounce.

That’s it for this issue from your friendly tightwad and agitator-the Poor Man!

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