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Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2912 Predictions-Myth or Mayhem?

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

In This Issue:

1. 2012 Predictions-Myth or Mayhem?
2. Small scale trout & fish farming
3. DIY Resources-knife making, tax prep, discounts, more
4. The dumbest thing ever said about our drug war by Ms. Clinton
5. Are we in danger of losing our democracy?

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Are we in danger of losing our democracy?

As revolutions take place in the middle east and government workers mount protests against having their benefits cut in this country, it makes me wonder what has happened to our own democracy.

We go through the motions of a democracy here. The reality, however, is many of our politicians are clearly bought and paid for. Special interests still rule Washington, not the people. Your vote (in my opinion) does not matter. Laws, rules and regulations are passed without regard to their cost and consequences, all too frequently by unelected bureaucrats. The cost to this country has been staggering and one of the major reasons why we have such high unemployment.

We also have too many government workers sucking the lifeblood from state budgets without any concern as to where the money will come to continue their gold plated benefits…wow, just think how nice it would be to have to pay only 5% of your medical premiums!

"At the union protests in Wisconsin, several doctors were on hand to write fake excuse notes for teachers who called in sick to attend the rallies. Wonder if this is some of that medical waste, fraud, & abuse that Obamacare was supposed to fix?" --former Senator Fred Thompson

During the past 30 years the government has passed so many anti-citizen laws, no one can keep up. The worst of the worst is the unPatriot Act which violates so much of the Constitution that our founders are no doubt gagging in their graves. What the People want does not seem to matter.

Each of our so-called parties swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and to serve the people. Each have failed and the courts seem to have exiled that document. The government sticks its nose into so many aspects of our lives, all of which fall outside Constitutional boundaries, that the Bill of Rights is now a joke.

Our founders and the original colonies were organized under a very libertarian document called the Articles of Confederation. The central government was only supposed to handle our national defense (not offense) and it was not able to collect taxes from individuals.

Our Constitution has been in grave danger since the early 1900s while our rights and liberties have been eroded. It’s my opinion this truly began with the income tax and the creation of the non-governmental group known as the Fed, the worldwide cartel of bankers. Once we gave up issuing our own money, we collectively began to ‘smell a rat.’

If we want real change in this country, perhaps we should consider what has taken place in Egypt. I for one am making a suggestion for a new amendment to the Constitution…a separation of state and bank!

Use old grocery carts for rabbit hutches.

Weekly Roundup of Useful Goodies

ROUNDUP: Online Tax Prep Services
Unless you're sure you've got a fat tax return coming, you probably don't look forward to doing your taxes. But these five online tax prep services can make the chore quick and easy.,2817,2359077,00.asp

ROUNDUP: The Best Free Online Project Management Software
You can get your business organized, if you've got help. These services can give you that help--and they're all free.,2817,2380448,00.asp

Couple of good sites for DIY knife making…kind of an art that might come in handy though we always keep a couple of good hunting & folding knives handy!
Here you can learn to make one from a railroad spike…

Eight of the ten top trending now topics were celebrity gossip
This week on Yahoo’s most viewed pages

Many people forward jokes and stories via email but fail to remove those >>>marks. Here’s a free program that quickly removes those symbols.;10

Keep gold & silver chains tangle free by running it through a straw & clasp ends.

Trout Farming For Hobby Farmers
My father-in-law should have his own fishing show-brook trout is his specialty!
A few issues back we reported on raising frogs…this is a follow up to that.
Five to ten acre hobby near urban centers have become very popular in the last twenty years. A rare few make enough income for the farmer to cover his overhead. Others, even more rare, turn a modest profit.
Many hobby farms are regarded more as an investment in land rather than a potential working operation. If a working operation may be part of the agenda, combined, say, with only moderate capital outlay, and minimum work, trout farming offers a good prospect for income. Read more here:

Do It Yourself Aquaculture Amateur Fish Farming Made Possible On A Small Scale


The United States ranks dead last in the world for the amount of maternity leave given to mothers and fathers. --Source: ABC News

Coupawz will offer a variety of daily discounts on products and
services for US pet owners. It also aims to add a selection of local
deals. Group buying should ensure savings of as much as 50%.

Credit Problems can hurt your health
Debt related stress is hurting the emotional health of many, mainly lack of sleep and depression. Of course, this can lead to physical ailments as well. Use a recommended credit counselor to help.
Association of Independent Credit Counseling Agencies


Here you go Jen & thanks for sharing!
My name is Jen Miller – I work for
I noticed on your Penny Pinchers page at that you list several sites
that offer coupons and/or money-saving tips, but you didn’t seem to
reference any resources that help consumers AND charities at the same

Make your own herbal seasoning salt
Blend the following and place in shaker w/ large openings

-5 tablespoons of salt
-2 teaspoons each of:
Onion powder, garlic powder, celery seed, parsley flakes PLUS
One teaspoon of (each) of: dried basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano
Makes a nice home made gift too!


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In Canada, 117 out of every 100,000 people are in prison. In Japan, 59 out of every 100,000 people are in prison. In the United States, 743 out of every 100,000 people are in prison which is the highest rate by far in the world.

Government Follies

Gold and silver continue to be safe havens…silver at 30 year high!

Oil prices go above $100 a barrel-could get worse, if…
The PM warned last year fuel prices could go over $5 a gallon in ‘11
Things are likely to get far worse if the "day of rage" planned for Saudi Arabia next month turns into a full-blown revolution. Up to this point, the revolutions that have been sweeping the Middle East have been organized largely on Facebook, and now there are calls all over Facebook for the "Saudi revolution" to start on March 20th

With budget constraints in place, what’s the government worried about-solar flares? The RFP vanished from their site soon after it was posted-hmmmm?
FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) put out a Request for Proposal, or RFP, for even more dehydrated food. The RFP called for a 10-day supply of meals - for 14 million people. That's 420 million meals. Typically, FEMA maintains a stockpile of about 6 million meals. Why the sudden need to increase the stockpile by 420 million more?

The CredAbility Consumer Distress Index, which measures the average financial condition of U.S. households, declined in every single quarter in 2010.

Faced with massive state budget cuts, the Wisconsin teachers union protests seem to be increasing public awareness of the high wages and benefits paid to public union members, which is further galvanizing public support for Gov. Scott Walker.

Lots of talk about a government shutdown next week…many agencies preparing, making contingency plans. One good thing about a shut down - no new anti-citizen laws will be passed!

Stop musty basement odor by soaking a paper towel in Pinesol. Place in small container like a film canister. Punch hole in top. The bigger the hole, the stronger the scent.

The first rule of being successful is you have to look like you know what you're doing, so you failed," he said, joking with the reporters.
--House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

2012 Survival Plans-Mayhem or Myth…are they necessary?

My wife and I had a discussion this week about all of the disasters, both man made and natural, that have been occurring during the past year or more. NASA’s recent announcement about solar flares and the potential for electronics disruptions had us really wondering.

Adding fuel to our speculation was our viewing of a History Channel documentary about 2012 and the popular movie starring John Cusack. No one can question the fact that there has been a huge spate of natural disasters throughout the world. Coincidence?

What's really going to happen on December 21, 2012?

Some of the predictions for 2012 are pretty crazy (UFOs, black holes, etc). Predictions range from complete disaster for mankind and the end of life as we know it to simple climate changes which will impact the earth, but not devastate civilization.

We do know the axis of the earth has shifted and that climate change has taken place on a fairly regular basis over the centuries (one of the reasons we had the Dark Ages was because of an abnormal cold spell which lasted nearly 200 years, preventing mankind from growing crops in abundance).

A severe solar storm has the potential to take down telecommunications and , and the country needs to work on being better prepared, said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lubchenco is also the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

Why is NASA saying Solar Flares could intensify (starting this year) knocking out communications and even power grid transformers…

- Why has nearly every religion been predicting something big to happen on Dec 21, 2012; for literally thousands of years?
- The Mayan Calendar (the most accurate in history) just abruptly ends on Dec 21, 2012.
- There is proof that most all large governments have 2012 survival plans. Do you?

I guess only time will tell for certain, but it’s difficult not to feel some kind of apprehension over what has been occurring…our advice, as always, be prepared, not surprised. Here are a few sites you might want to review, then form your own opinion.

Free 2012 Survival report & information at these sites

Now for the dumbest thing ever said about the drug war-Hillary Clinton

And that’s wrap from the digital fortress of the Poor Man!

Check our Resources

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

Free Money assistance for women, businesses, more.

A Shallow Planet Production

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quirky Signs of Economic Recovery, Survive Civil Disorder

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

In This Issue:

1. Green jobs, using twitter to find a job
2. Save 96% on home made laundry detergent
3. Free tobacco at-home cultivation guide
4. Quirky signs the economy is recovering
5. Cheap DIY home food dehydrator plans
6. Subscriber contributions-New Survivalist, Scholarships
7. Police State Grows in Chicago

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. - Galileo Galilei

Signs the economy is improving-Some Quirky Signs

Is it just a blip on the screen or is the economy truly on the mend?

Applications for credit cards, even for those high priced cards for the terminally D credit-rated folks, has risen. According to some job posting sites, the number of new job listings has increased. Local train traffic has almost doubled this month, GM, Ford and others report increased sales…the stock market is doing well.

So what’s going on? Frankly, I think much of it is illusion. Smoke and mirrors. Banks still don’t lend. Wall Street is making most of its profit from overseas investments and our jobless rate remains around 10%.

Analysts always tell us jobs lag behind in a recovery. Then why is the price of silver and gold reaching new heights nearly every week? Why are there so many ‘newly homeless, mortgage defaults, a rising welfare state, long lines at the food banks, etc.?

State budgets are still broke with no easy cure in sight. Are the ‘new’ jobs primarily low wage, non-middle class jobs?

So, yes, you can look to the stock market -- a classic leading economic indicator, nearing a 100% gain over two years -- for reassurance about tomorrow. But you can also read the economic tea leaves on golf greens and in underwear sales…sales of latte, and other quirky signs.

I lost track of how many resumes I’ve sent out during the past several months. My neighbors think I’m trying to win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes or something (yeah, that would help too! Ha!)
Maybe I should go back to school and become an RLP (Rejection Letter Professional)
--post on recent blog

Read Kiplingers list of offbeat signs the economy is picking up and tell me what you think?

Finally, be sure to check the New Survivalist site mentioned below…top notch info & good videos (I’m jealous about the video part as it’s something we’ve been planning for some time but still lack a few things like brainpower).

When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971. Yet…According to the New York Post, Barack Obama enjoyed a total of 10 separate vacations that stretched over a total of 90 vacation days during the years of 2009 and 2010...costing taxpayers millions!

Use mayonnaise to remove bumper stickers on cars. Rub over entire surface, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off. The substance will dissolve the glue.

Useful Resources

Use Social Network Sites to Land a Job
More Americans now spend more time on social network sites than they do emailing and many employers now use Twitter to look for job applicants. Try one of the new Twitter search engines to find opportunities…enter your desired job & they’ll search for you.
NOTE: When mailing or bringing a paper copy of your resume, add a touch color such as light red or blue. Experts say HR will linger over your resume longer!

Every week new green jobs are posted on Great Green Careers. We think there's a great green job for you – check us out!

Search for your new job by type of job, location, salary and more. Post your resume, and put yourself in front of dozens of green employers in the U.S. and Canada. Plus, check out our green career resources. Best of all – there's no charge to you!.

Learn how to repair and boost your credit score

Check out if you have a legal question and aren't quite ready for an attorney.
Whether your question deals with an auto accident, bankruptcy, real estate or wills, you'll find solid, road-tested information there

Cooking With Bacon Grease
I once read a story about a restaurant in GA which has been using the same fry grease for over 50 years to grill their food…they strain it every night and patrons rave about it!
I always save the grease from bacon to use for cooking and baking (even my teenagers and husband will save it!). Put the fresh hot liquid grease into a glass jar (a plastic containers will melt) and place a lid on it and stick it in your fridge

With food prices expected to increase by 3% to 5% this year, grocery stores are going to be forced to pass some of the extra cost on to shoppers
Clothing prices expected to climb 10%-

Stop a crack in your windshield by applying a clear coat of finger nail polish.
Work in the shade an apply to both sides of the crack, fill it well-will buy some time!

Women’s Scholarship Resource
I have worked on a resource that I think your readers might be interested in. It is a list of the best women’s scholarships published on Guide to Online Schools, The general knowledge is to apply for as many scholarships as possible and list of great opportunities goes a long ways towards getting applications sent out.
I’m proud to say our article has helped a many women. 85,253 people have viewed it since we published…glad to assist!

Good resources from subscriber Jason - we all thank you!
Good section on ‘how am I going to afford all this stuff!”…In depth how to guide! very practical survival site your readers need to know about. covers all aspects of survival in many situations. also covers the birth of money and our dollar and how and why we are being led to economic ruin by big banks and big gov. very informative….Complete with videos. Free US constitutions for the masses. even has youtube instructions on how to assemble.

Keep deer out of your garden by placing human hair in an old pair of nylons.
Tie the ends & hang around areas deer like to snoop-works with dog hair too. adds Thousands of Prices to Free Online Price Guide
Useful if you sell antiques & collectibles online or offline… added more than 90,00 new prices and thousands of
images to its price guide, available at no charge on

Cheap Home Made Food Dehydrator Plans
Drying of food as a means of preservation has been around for a long time. Populations in suitably dry climates all around the globe have dried meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables in times of plenty as a way to provide for the leaner months of the year

Home made laundry detergent-save 96%,0,620256.story

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In a pinch, common table salt can be used to put out fry pan fires on a stove.


Our Wonderful Government News

The government rakes in $125,000,000 ( that’s $125 Million Dollars) a day in taxes on cigarettes alone - and that is figuring that the average smoker only smokes one pack a day.

States Ponder Amending the Constitution…fed has no idea where the money is.
A promising plan for the states to amend the U.S Constitution and halt Washington's borrowing frenzy is the subject of rumors about a 'runaway convention' that would scrap the whole constitution. We have an article and a list of ten reasons explaining why this isn't so.

Thomas Jefferson desperately tried to warn us about central banks. He believed that for the government to borrow money in one generation which must be paid back by future generations is equivalent to stealing....
And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

On a related note…watch the Fed Inspector General’s response to Congressional questions from Congress about where the trillions have gone…dismal.

"Military Men are dumb , stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy " Henry Kissinger…Scary stuff-Warning: graphic images & language:

Police State via Camera Grows in Chicago…Mayor Daley I want one on every corner

This year the U.S. government is going to go 1.645 trillion more dollars into debt. How can one possibly accurately convey just how large that amount of money really is? If you went out today and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you over 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.

When bad stuff happens…where do you want to be?

Seems no matter where civil unrest takes place, it is usually in big cities. That’s where people, police and governments are most concentrated. This is also where most food and water shortages occur.

During periods of civil unrest police will sometimes abandon their post, leaving gangs and thugs to rule the streets. If a complete breakdown does take place, these gangs and others will begin migrating to rural areas. Why? Because most often that is where the food is. Small farms could be targeted, as they were during the world wars, by soldiers and civilians seeking food.

The public service worker protests in WI had some calling for a revolution in this country…little do they seem to know.

According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22.5 million Americans, comprising 17% of the entire workforce, now work for the government. The average government employee makes $47,000 per year, while private sector workers pull down an average of $45,000. The average public sector employee pays $3,600 for healthcare. Construction workers, for comparison, pay an average of $4,100. Those in the services and retail industry pay $4,200. Only 20% of workers in the private sector have what are known as "traditional" retirement plans, compared with 79% in the public sector. And, while most private employees don't get health insured benefits in retirement, 87% of public workers do.

Nobel laureate Robert Mundell of Columbia University, the world's top currency expert, told The Wall Street Journal in October that we are teetering on the edge of an unprecedented global financial debt crisis, asserting...

"We've never been in this unstable position in
the entire currency history of 3,000 years."

In our country, the government would declare martial law through Executive Order and FEMA and other government agencies would confiscate food and water supplies (and your guns) for redistribution. Straggling civilian groups would find themselves corralled into government camps to prevent rioting and the breakout of disease and civil order.

When folks get hungry enough, there is no law. Government agencies have been doing practice runs to deal with such a breakdown for years, but…

Sometimes even governments can be stressed beyond their breaking-points. A good example is the chaos that ensued in New Orleans in the absence of action from the local government or a timely effective federal response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In such troubled times, people are forced to fend for themselves and their families, by any means necessary. The following tips will help you and your loved ones survive a breakdown of the social order until such time that help can arrive, or, if help does not come, prepare you towards the long-term goal of rebuilding society in the aftermath.

Read the 10 Tips for surviving civil disorder here:


That’s it for this issue…a big thank you to those who took the time to send in resources.
And now for a bit of humor…hilarious SNL Tribute to Government Workers-Public Service Employee of the Year:

Check our Resources

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

Free Money assistance for women, businesses, more.

A Shallow Planet Production

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Home Schooling Resources, The Bestseller in You, As the World Churns

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

In This Issue:

1. Write your own book-make money or get famous
2. Creating a new country at
3. More swap sites
4. Home Schooling Resources
5. As the world churns-public sector employees get a taste of reality
6. Banks profiting from welfare AND shipping jobs overseas
7. Privacy-RIP

Secrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of.
--Bill Moyers

Home Schooling - is it right for your family?

I was fortunate in that my grandmother taught me to read and write before kindergarten. That way I could read the TV guide and I knew when my parent’s lied to me about a show I want to watch not being aired that night. It also fostered a life-long love of reading and the fundamental skills necessary to research any topic I needed to learn.

I also was lucky to attend a school in a wonderful school district, all of it geared toward college-prep. It wasn’t until I attended ASU that I began to realize just how dismal some school systems were. Today’s children (along with many adults) don’t enjoy reading…it’s too much work. They all want visual tools or they’re too preoccupied with video games, cell phone nonsense and non-learning activities and it shows.

Currently, there are more than two million students being home schooled, more than double since 1999.

My own boys attended a private Montessori school (which cost more than my college tuition) and I believe it was a mistake. Despite their efforts and our own at interesting my boys in reading, they never developed that interest. In retrospect, I think they needed a more structured teaching environment, such as a military academy!

The education lobby is very powerful and many consider it counterproductive to true educational reform. Here in MI, most teachers make a pretty good salary while only contributing 5% to their medical insurance, and like other teachers, they work only part of the year. (Personally, I do not have the patience to teach youngsters, which is why I taught college level students part time for so many years).

There are many pros and cons to home schooling, much dependent on the parent who teaches and the amount of discipline they use along with the curriculum they choose. Another factor to consider is the amount of time a parent has available to devote to the teaching process. Thanks to taxes and the high cost of living, many families require both parent’s work outside the home. [Some argue it’s cheaper to stay at home than to work outside the home when you factor in commuting costs, clothing requirements, daily lunch costs, the amount of actual take-home pay you net, etc.]

Here are a few resources to consider should you wish to investigate this avenue of learning for your children.

Free-Home Schooling Resources for Parents & Students: 800-538-3742

It’s been colder than a banker’s handshake & here’s why…
Credit card interest rates now average 14.72%, closing in on all time highs
As banks seek to recover what they lost to new rules…Congress didn’t cap % rates!

Weekly Resources Update

More sites to use for swapping stuff

Trade books, movies, video games-create two lists when you join: Wants & Haves

This site mostly swaps DVDs-you pay $2 to ship & get a credit DVD back

One of our favorite concepts…swapping your time, as little as one hour…pet sitting, baby sitting, etc. Over 100 communities now have one. Check it out.

New York Library-Public Images Gallery
Here you'll find access to over 700,000 images that have been digitized and placed online in this database so people can browse them easily. You'll find maps, posters, prints, manuscripts, and more for your viewing pleasure.

New Coupon sites - without any work
Let the coupon queens do the work for you with these coupon-sharing sites.

Learn the basics of making cheese & yogurt at home-free

Conventional light bulbs will be phased out in 2012-yet 13% of Americans say they are stocking up on 100-watt bulbs to use after the ban.

When you send your mail through the Postal Service, chemical sprays and x-ray-type machinery make it possible for governments and sophisticated crooks to read the contents of mail without ever opening the envelope. Mail snoops can simply take a spray can of Freon gas they bought at a spy shop and spray the outside of an envelope, causing it to temporarily turn transparent.
To prevent your outgoing mail from being surreptitiously read while inside the envelope, wrap the contents in a piece of dark paper. Construction paper that kids use for art projects is good, because it is nice and thick.

The price of silver jumped this week to over $31 per troy ounce.

Medical costs remain out of control. Today Charles B. Inlander, founding president of the nonprofit People’s Medical Society and author of Take This Book to the Hospital with You: A Consumer’s Guide to Surviving Your Hospital Stay, reveals three strategies for negotiating a better medical deal on everything from eyeglasses to surgery -- yes, surgery!


Resources for publishing your own book-get famous!
Whether to fulfill a dream or to make some extra money or to become a best selling author, many have a desire and there is a book inside all of us. The use of ebooks has made the process even simpler. The best attended seminar programs I conducted in pre-internet days were on self-publishing.

Well known author Robert J Ringer’s first book “Winning through Intimidation,” was initially self published. He was unable to secure a mainstream publisher or to persuade book stores to sell his book. After he ran a full page ad in the New York Times promoting his book…and telling readers they could find the book at national chains…they started selling his book when crowds of buyers showed up.

Obviously, Ringer was one heck of a copywriter. If his ad had flopped, he would have been in big trouble with a lot of people!

Although I owned my own publishing company, we primarily published business-oriented newspapers and newsletters. However, I did write and publish my own best seller devoted to small business marketing on the cheap (long before Guerilla Marketing came out & pre-internet days) called Mercenary Marketing: How to promote your business for less than $1000. It also led to many lucrative seminar and speaking fees. It sold well over 35,000 copies but the internet sort of ended it. Below you will find some useful resources.

What I'm usually asked most is how to publish a book on a shoestring budget.
Most people don't have tens of thousands of dollars to write, publish, and market a book, so they're looking for the best and cheapest way to do all three. Use these sites to get started:

Preparing a book for publication

Promoting your self published work on a shoestring budget


We’ll keep our guns thank you…the Swiss overwhelming rejected stricter gun control.
‘we’re not sheep like Americans’ A vote keeps automatic weapons in each home.

Interest Threatens to Swallow Federal Budget
“Interest payments on the national debt will quadruple in the next decade and every man, woman and child in the United States will be paying more than $2,500 a year to cover for the nation’s past profligacy, according to figures in President Obama’s new budget plan. Starting in 2014, net interest payments will surpass the amount spent on education, transportation, energy and all other discretionary programs outside defense.” (Washington Post)
Is default in our future? Keep in mind, most multi-national firms now make their profit in overseas markets now that they’ve essentially dumped the American worker.

Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.

JP Morgan profiting off hungry Americans
The deepest recession since the great depression cost Americans more than 8-million jobs and 787 billion dollars in tax-payer funds for Wall Street.
JP Morgan Chase -a bail out recipient - has recovered well and the fact that that most Americans have not, has become a big bucks opportunity for the investment bank.

2010-US worker productivity rose 4%, corporate profits rose 30%,
Workers average wage grew only 2%

Privacy RIP
As reporter Mike Miliard points out in “You are Being Watched,” most recently published by the Sacramento News & Review, those vested in online privacy have been “drawn to a battle between two conflicting notions—and the winner of that battle may determine what kind of Internet we end up with.”

Read more:

Welcome Aboard
Someone finally did it…planning a new country-at sea on platforms!

Parting thoughts…

Turmoil Everywhere! As the world churns. Did Tea Party members betray us?

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by over 95 percent. One of the reasons given for the existence of the Federal Reserve is that the Fed helps control inflation. But that is a huge lie. The truth is that the United States never had consistently rampant inflation until the Federal Reserve took control. In particular, once the U.S. totally went off the gold standard in the 1970s inflation really started escalating out of control....

The price of food, water and oil coupled with political unrest throughout the world is creating escalating prices and headaches everywhere.

*The price of corn has doubled over the last six months and recently hit a new all-time high.
*The price of wheat has more than doubled over the past year and hit a 30-month high on Monday.
*The price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.
*The price of cotton has more than doubled over the past year.
*The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.
*The price of sugar is the highest it has been in 30 years.

If prices continue to go up like this we are going to see a lot more food riots all over the globe. Citizens in most 3rd world countries get by on an average of $2 a day. While kings and rulers make billions, their populations suffer. Little wonder to me why there is so much political upheaval.

As the Poor Man began writing more than a year ago, once states and cities figured out they were going broke because of gold plated benefits to public sector employees, they’d have no choice but to make cuts AND now, we’re seeing those employees in a very unhappy light as they mount protests in WI, OH, MI, NJ and elsewhere. Where do these workers think the money is going to come from? Perhaps they should have their pensions eliminated and replaced with voluntary 401(k) plans like the private sector.

The Fed has really screwed things up here at home. Although many Americans can accommodate the spike in food and fuel prices, the picture here isn’t pretty either.

America is rapidly turning into a horrible Big Brother police state and most of our politicians are fully supporting this transformation. In fact, the U.S. House of Representatives gave us quite a Valentine's Day gift the other day when it voted to once again extend provisions of the Patriot Act that allow for domestic surveillance of American citizens, wire tapping of American citizens and warrantless searches of the homes of American citizens.
What was perhaps most disappointing was that a large number of "Tea Party politicians" cast votes in favor of renewing the Patriot Act provisions.

The majority of Americans were absolutely disgusted when the Bush administration instituted the Patriot Act and many other police state measures and they voted for Obama hoping for something different.

Many Americans voted for Tea Party candidates during the last election hoping that they would be willing to stand up for liberty and freedom.
Well, it turns out that many of them caved when it came time to vote on the extension of Patriot Act provisions.

The truth is that this is not a conservative issue and it is not a liberal issue.
This is an American issue.
But doesn't the Patriot Act keep us safe from terrorism?
Just the other day Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, admitted that even with all of our "security measures" the chance that the U.S. will be hit a weapon of mass destruction is 100 percent....

Who are YOU relying on to secure your future - your financial advisor? An employer? A family member? The government? The fact is there's really no one left you can or should rely on... except yourself.
With traditional methods of protecting your wealth, your privacy, and your future all evaporating very quickly, becoming more self-reliant on all fronts - health, finances, and freedom - has never been more critical…are you sharing your skills with family members and like=minded friends…are you sharing this bulletin and the PM web site?

Prepping before the SHTF Video…another perspective

That’s it for this issue…as we “head to the hills,” the Poor Man!

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

Free Money assistance for women, businesses, more.

A Shallow Planet Production

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Entitlement Bomb, Ditching the Dollar, Resources

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

In This Issue:

1. Start your own barter fair
2. Worst-Case-PC-Survival kit
3. Pros & cons of shopper loyalty cards
4. Uncommon tips for storing/revitalizing food
5. Free tech help 24/7
6. Raised bed gardening plans
7. States consider replacing the dollar-so does France

Sometimes you get the peanut and sometimes you get the shell…
The story of my life!
--the Poor Man

My new best friend…could be yours too!

A new study shows more and more Americans are growing vegetable gardens
A recent survey by the Garden Writers of America also shows an increase in young people (under 40) starting to garden.
The survey of 1,000 people nationwide found that 38 percent of Americans had a vegetable garden in 2009. Of those planning to a garden in 2010, 37 percent plan to expand.

Now is the time to start thinking about your spring garden…soil prep, organic additives to enhance your soil, crop rotation, or just letting a section lie fallow for the year.
These dreary winter days when you can't go outside is an excellent time to layout your garden and decide what you're going to plant for the coming year.

The Poor Man already ordered a variety of seed and is laying out plans for a productive garden which will start with a soil test. We have some fruit trees which will need tending but we are interested in what we can raise that might also prove to be a viable cash crop. With only a few acres we’re not looking to plant a lot of corn or soy beans, which seems to be the main cash crops locally.

My new best friend is the guy who runs our local County Extension office. He specializes in small acreage farming (he owns two small plots of his own) and has invited the Poor Man to visit his small farm next month…can’t wait.

As much as I dislike most aspects of government, county extension offices are the exception to the rule. They truly provide valuable services and their staff practices what they preach. You can find a lot of free information at this service including sample farm business plans, crop productivity history, common pests and diseases and plenty more.

The Poor Man’s wife is investigating what house plants she can grow to resell at the local flea market. She and a buddy are making plans to become financial foliage tycoons this summer!

Here is a site you can use to easily locate an extension office near you. There’s even a section which walks you through applying for a grant. You’ll also find many universities offer boatloads of free and useful information - yours for the asking!

Spray mower blades with some non-stick cooking spray - less grass will adhere, making for smoother mowing. Protect orchard trees from pests by wrapping the trunks with old-fashioned fly paper strips.

This Weeks Useful Resources

Your Worst-Case-Scenario PC Survival Kit Whether you’re in a safe house, on the lam, or weathering the End of the World as We Know It, you’ll want to check out this collection of worst-case-scenario tips, apps, and downloads for your PC and smartphone.

Uncommon Tips to Revive and Store Produce, Groceries
Save money and trips to the market with these tips and tricks from Rebecca DiLiberto’s Penny Saving Household Helper. You’ll be surprised how simple it is to keep food at its best.

More Free Online Calendars and Yahoo both provide useful calendars which tie into your email accounts…here’s a new one that will tie into your Google email account too.

Neighborhood Disaster Tabletop Exercises for CERTs, Neighborhood Watch Programs and Neighborhood Associations and others
A team of national, regional and state organizations invites Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Neighborhood Watch programs along with Neighborhood Associations to participate in one of the scheduled disaster tabletop exercises being facilitated via the internet.
These exercises have been designed specifically for organizations that work to support the disaster caused needs of community and neighborhood residents during and following a disaster.
By participating in one or several of these exercises you will be able to assess your organizations existing disaster response capabilities.
There is NO CHARGE for participation in any of the exercises.
Six distinctive exercise scenarios are available.
Influenza Pandemic
For additional information and registration please access the following web site:

Barter 101-Why not start your own barter club or barter fair?
Busted-flat? As Janet Joplin sang, “it ain’t nothin’ honey, if it ain’t free.” You can get what you want without paying a nickel if you know how to barter. We should know: the website you’re looking at is partly the result of bartering. Barter isn’t about making some kind of shady deal: it’s a legitimate form of commerce that has been going on since the beginning of time, and is making a strong comeback in the downturn. Do you need a new backyard fence? Tech support? Babysitting? Chances are, there is someone who can provide these services in exchange for something you can offer.

Find out how much your old electronics are worth before selling them
The site provides pricing also for sports equipment, boats & apparel.

Free sample preparedness foods

Wide selection of free samples-mainly grocery items>requires sign up

Get Free Repairs-you might deserve them
Use this site to learn if your auto had a problem due to a recall & qualify for a free repair.

Free Tech Help-24/7
You’ve experienced a tech problem…yeah right! Costco or Sam’s Club could prove a real money saver. Costco offers a “concierge service on its products. Contact: 866-861-0450. Sam’s Club Tech Experts provide free assistance-even if you didn’t buy the electronics there…available 24/7 at: 877-758-4346

Zipper stuck? Use lip balm as a quick lubricant.

Raised garden beds, also called garden planters, are great for small plots of veggies and flowers. They keep pathway weeds from your garden soil, prevent soil compaction, provide good drainage and serve as a barrier to pests such as slugs and snails.

By raising the soil level, raised beds also reduce back strain when bending over to tend the bed. Raised beds and garden planters are available in a variety of different materials, or they can be made with relative ease

Creating Your Own Plan
You can create your own plan for a raised bed garden. You'll need graph paper, a ruler, and colored pencils.

Draw existing elements on the graph paper, such as houses, sheds, garages, and walkways.
Color in the elements using colored pencils.
Mark off the raised beds and pathways.

More at these sites:

Loyalty Club or Frequent Shopper Cards-pros & cons…
There are many who dislike using loyalty cards issued by gas stations, supermarkets, etc. for fear of privacy intrusions. There is some merit to this thought. However, on the other hand, you can also reap substantial rewards. For example, I have a Kroger card and it saves me 10 cents a gallon on fuel and that, to me, is a big plus. Kroger also sends me personalized coupons in the mail (based on purchase history). Just recently, I received coupons for FREE butter, free juice, free snacks along with discounts for other products.

Supermarket chains say their loyalty cards reward faithful shoppers. Privacy advocates say they're no bargain at all…some reports indicate you’re paying anywhere from 24-74% more at these stores.

When you're stacking up grocery items at the checkout line, you're probably not worried about whether your supermarket chain is compiling a profile of you based on what you buy, and storing that information for its own use. After all, who cares if you buy one brand of tissues over another, or favor name-brand microwave pizzas over store brands?
Supermarket chains care. So does CVS. So much so that they use discount cards (referred to as "membership" or "loyalty" cards) to offer you what seem like great bargains. They use the cards to keep tabs on what you purchase, how often you shop, and what your buying preferences are.
And, just as data brokers like ChoicePoint collect personal data and use it to build an aggregate "profile" of individual consumers, supermarket chains use their stored data to target buyers with "special" offers and "preferred" advertisements from their marketing partners.

Studies show paying cash at the supermarket help to reduce impulse buys…
Save an average of $140 a month!


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Showing your AAA card can save an average of 15% on purchases at hotels and various retailers, florist services, restaurants and more-memberships begin at just $66 annually.

A South Carolina state politician wants the state to develop its own gold and silver-based currency in case the collapses and hyper-inflation ensues.
"If folks lose faith in the dollar, we need to have some kind of backup," State Sen. Lee Bright told the Spartanburg Herald Journal's Stephen Largen. His bill asks a committee to look into the development of a state currency, citing the Constitution and Supreme Court precedents to prove the bill's legality.
Slate's Annie Lowrey tracks down similar bills in Georgia and Virginia, and points out that the legislation reflects a larger trend of state politicians wading into monetary policy. A bill in Georgia would require all debts to the state be paid in pre-1965 gold and silver coins. The Virginia proposal would let the state print its own money. Meanwhile, one politician in Utah wants to cut out the middleman entirely and allow the state's residents to run their very own mints.

Sidebar: France Wants to Ditch Dollar as World Currency
France, as current head of the Group of 20 countries, will help the transition to a global financial system based on "several international currencies," French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Monday. Hey, Germany now owns our stock exchange, so who knows?

A healthy distrust of government is the best sign of patriotism

How the Patriot Act is destroying freedoms in America

The Entitlement Bomb

Lots of talk among politicians for reducing the national budget, mostly fodder for the corporate press and the ill-informed. Our two biggest budget busters are the Medicare and Social Security programs. As the Economist magazine noted about the so-called standoff on the budget and taxes…”The Republicans and the Democrats merely agreed to each other’s giveaways.”

Rather than confront the deficit problem, the political agenda remains to artificially inflate the economy as opposed to hard choices involving raising taxes, drastically cutting government programs/departments and other entitlement programs.

Although the Poor Man will be long gone, it’s estimated that by 2080, about 86% of all tax revenues will be used to pay for just three programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

If you listen to Washington, one comes away with the impression many politicians think there is a lot of time left to fix these problems. Politicians are rarely proactive, but almost always reactive…just look what happened in Ireland and Greece.

Unfunded liabilities among states, especially for pension funds, will further fuel financial angst in America. All of these probably means gold and silver prices (and thus other commodities) will see even higher prices in the decades to come.

To see more of our unfunded liabilities, check out

Finally, a bit more fun which leans on the educational side…
Your Life According To The Government
Cute overview of how we’re expected to live and its costs…the reality.

That's it for this issue...yours for preparedness, the Poor Man!

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

Free Money assistance for women, businesses, more.

A Shallow Planet Production

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You Can Be Tracked via Cell Phone Camera Photos

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

In This Issue

1. I can track & stalk you
2. Free financial boot camp
3. How to deal with cops-video interview
4. The Practice of shunning-using it on government types
5. Aquaponics-a solution for feeding everyone
6. The secret freedom fighter
7. Alternatives to expensive software

Crime does not pay-unless you get elected! --Galambos

The calm after the storm or is it the winter blahs?

Off and on during the past few weeks, much of America has been hit by paralyzing winter storms. Winter has reached many states which are rarely affected by cold and snow, leaving some scratching their head over the affects of global warming. Adults and children alike have enjoyed snow days unable to reach work or school.

My thinking was many more would be using their computer to visit eBay and Amazon, perhaps perking up sales for merchants. Wrong! In conversations with other online merchants I learned just the opposite is true…most have experienced the slowest sales they’ve seen in a long time.

The Poor Man even ran a sale which produced dismal results. In fact, all forms of online activity has slowed according to a report I read recently.

If you’re like me, you might be getting a bad case of cabin fever. I’m anxious to get outside and do some gardening, finish up our cabin and explore related projects. There is a lack of auctions, thrift store donations, and of course, garage sales to go treasure hunting (some might say, who cares, nothing is selling anyhow).

The Poor Man placed several ‘wanted’ ads on and our area Craigslist and not one response. I even placed a help wanted ad for a freelance cartoonist to create several politically incorrect cartoons I came up with - again, no response. (if you’re cartoonist & need some work, let me know).

This has also been the slowest I’ve ever seen in response to our weekly bulletin. Normally, I get up to a dozen emails a week with suggestions to share or feedback on its content…this week, only one. That person wrote to say how much he and his wife enjoyed the newsletter and they were curious as to how I come up with ideas for content…(I read a lot of online and offline publications and glean what I feel might be useful). Without feedback it is difficult to come up with fresh ideas which is one of the reasons I vary the content. Got ideas? Please share!

Finally, as most know by now, the President of Egypt finally stepped down. Somewhat surprising, the crowds of protestors were, for the most part, well-behaved. The price of oil came down on world markets as a result…Our own president took a lot of hits in the international press for his wavering actions…even British newspapers lampooned him intimating how irrelevant he’s become.

If inflation wore a label, it would read “Manufactured in Washington DC

The Weekly Round-up

Financial Bootcamp-Get a Money-tune-up
Since 2009, LearnVest has been providing sharp and seriously useful money advice for women. Now, the site has launched a series of email bootcamps to get readers ramped up financially. The investing unit costs $7.99, but the Cut Your Costs and Personal Finance Basics Bootcamps are free. You don’t have to be a personal finance dork (like me) to appreciate that.

I can stalk you-the danger of posting photos…GPS in cameras & phone now allow the government & anyone else to track you. This is not a joke! How to Deal with Cops - Q&A with Steve Silverman of Flex Your Rights
"Asserting your Constitutional rights is not a trick in any way," says Steve Silverman of the Flex Your Rights Foundation. "What the police officers do is a trick." Silverman started Flex Your Rights in 2002 after spending years working with college students who lost scholarships because of minor drug busts. Since then the organization has produced two popular videos, Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters and 10 Rules For Dealing with the Police, both of which have millions of views on YouTube and have been screened in classrooms and communities around the country.

Kidstuff is now offering distributorships…could prove good for go-getters
The Kidstuff Magazine™ is a free shopping resource guide for parents and grandparents. The magazine serves two purposes. It is designed to help families find products and services they need as their children grow. And, it is the perfect advertising medium for companies to let growing families know about their products and services. The information is presented in a full four-color format on glossy magazine paper for easy reading and to keep for a long lasting resource guide. It is digest size and a handy size to use for shopping.

Just type in a street name at the top of the form & your whole neighborhood map will pop up…check your neighbors.

Every place you see a red balloon or thumb tack is the home of a convicted felon.

Just place your mouse over an icon & not only will the name come up, but also the crime they were convicted of.

Share with your friends . . . Safety first.

A 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide & vinegar will dissolve lead.

Aquaponics…viable solution for feeding everyone!

The information contained herein can help you get started in aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. Information can be found here to help you from the early planning stages all the way through construction and marketing helping you get off to a profitable start whether it is a backyard operation or commercial venture. Just visit our forum to find information posted by individuals around the world who have experience with backyard, commercial and educational systems in around the world.

Using a controlled environment greenhouse or pond/tank greenhouse combination, large premium quality crops of vegetables and herbs can be grown on a year-round basis simultaneously producing large amounts of fresh fish. Using the knowledge to be found within the pages and the forum at "Do It Yourself Aquaponics" combined with proper planning, equipment and management, aquaponics can be used to supplement your food demands or in a commercial manner, turned into a profitable business.

Find alternatives to expensive software
This site offers free or less expensive versions to many of today’s expensive software. Example: Instead of buying Adobe Photoshop, you can use GIMP, a free image-manipulation program that offers many of the same features.

Fix it Yourself-How to repair cameras, game consoles, toasters, iPods, etc. at:

Another resource for private e-mail
Free service to encrypt messages, prevent forwarding & set a time for the message to self-destruct. Go to:

Lower your chance of an IRS audit. Any time you have a questionable tax deduction & wish to avoid raising a red flag, use Form 8275. Ask your tax preparer. Download form from the IRS: or call 800-829-3676

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The End of the Dollar Being Proposed

New international currency proposed by International Monetary Fund
The IMF is trying to move the world away from the U.S. dollar and towards a global currency. In a new report entitled "Enhancing International Monetary Stability—A Role for the SDR", the IMF details the "problems" with having the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of the globe and the IMF discusses the potential for a larger role for SDRs (Special Drawing Rights). The IMF considers SDRs to be a transitional phase between what we have now and a new world currency. In this newly published report, the IMF makes this point very clearly: "In the even longer run, if there were political willingness to do so, these securities could constitute an embryo of global currency."

CNN clearly understands what the IMF is trying to accomplish with this new report. The following is how CNN's recent story about the new IMF report begins....
"The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world's reserve currency."

This synthetic currency unit is made up of a basket of currencies. SDRs have actually been around for many years, but now they are being heavily promoted as an alternative to the dollar.

The SDR is a hybrid. SDRs are part U.S. dollar, part euro, part yen and part British pound. In particular, the following is how each SDR currently breaks down....
U.S. Dollar: 41.9%
Euro: 37.4%
Yen: 9.4%
British Pound: 11.3%

In January, the Obama administration said that it fully supports the eventual inclusion of the yuan in the SDR.

Keep a few extra containers of GoJo, the waterless cleaner, on hand should you lose your water supply. It’s also good for cleaning antique wood such as picture frames.

The Secret Freedom Fighter
The Parting shot…
Do you remember the Bill of Rights?

I remember studying the Bill of Rights when I was in fifth grade. I found it odd that the founding fathers had written laws to protect us from our government. In the naivete of my 11-year-old world, it never occurred to me that the government would invade my home, arrest me without cause, or act unjustly toward any of its citizens. Sadly, I see the wisdom of the founding fathers being undermined by the government.

Freedom today requires a lot more creativity given the penchant of politicians to take it away. There is a certain futility in conventional activism…

Here are a couple of non-violent ways to fight back against imperious government agents be they from the IRS, ATF, FBI, or local bureaucrat…

Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. It is a sanction against association often associated with religious groups and other tightly-knit organizations and communities. Shunning has a long history as a means of organizational influence and control.

>don’t do business with them
>do not speak to them
>do not invite them to social events
>do not buy cookies or other fundraisers from their children

We could continue with examples but you get the idea. Perhaps impractical except from a local community perspective. It might be a useful way to send a message that as a citizen you are not happy with our lost rights and its heavy handed approach to screwing citizens.

There’s little doubt the nature of our country has changed much in the past 30 years. Whereas I grew up with neighborhood merchants, the butcher, the shoemaker, the appliance repairman…now everything has become big box stores, few mothers at home and neighbors who often do not know each other. We’ve lost a lot in terms of sense of community and a government out of touch with the common person. All of this has affected our personal freedoms to one degree or another and has given rise to police powers…after all, we’re no longer expected to be self reliant or to even take care of neighborhood bullies…we must let the nanny state intervene now.

What happens when they steal your freedom and you're too fat to run for the hills?
It can happen here.

That’s it for this issue from your fat boy, the Poor Man…be sure to share this with friends!

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

Free Money assistance for women, businesses, more.

A Shallow Planet Production

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little Known Facts & Freebies for Valentine's Day

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

In This Issue:

1. History of Valentine’s Day-Freebies
2. Hydronic heating-the basics on saving on heating bill
3. Getting started in blacksmithing
4. What information do they have on you-you’d be amazed
5. DIY electric bike plans
6. Using Netcycler to promote swaps

Why is it in the US folks won’t turn their headlights on during overcast snowy weather, but on a clear night, they’ll blind you with 100,000 watt fog lamps?

Can you afford to retire-or will you work until you drop?

According to one recent survey, 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything at all to retirement savings.
Most Baby Boomers do not have a traditional pension plan because employers have eliminated them over the past 30 years. Just consider the following quote from Time Magazine: The traditional pension plan is disappearing. In 1980, some 39 percent of private-sector workers had a pension that guaranteed a steady payout during retirement. Today that number stands closer to 15 percent, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C.
Over 30 percent of U.S. investors currently in their sixties have more than 80 percent of their 401k invested in equities. So what happens if the stock market crashes again?

Thanks to Washington pickpockets, Social Security is effectively broke.

In the real economy, grim news abounds. The Federal Reserve's own skewed statistics now acknowledge that for the first time in 57 years, Americans have made a net negative withdrawal from savings and investment accounts. The cause of this squeeze? Rampant unemployment and hidden inflation, especially evident in rising food costs! Analyst John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics notes that if inflation was counted exactly the way it was during the inflation-ridden Carter Administration, annual cost-of-living increases would be in excess of 10%.

Higher wage jobs, those paying $17.50 to $31 an hour, accounted for almost half the jobs lost in the past few years, according to the National Employment Law Project. Of the new jobs created, 76% paid $8.92 to $15 an hour.

With a decline of what is estimated at 10% in the middle class, the American Dream is rapidly becoming a shattered dream. Betrayed by the Washington-Wall Street Cartel, we now see the middle class as the desperate, downwardly mobile.

Faith in the ‘System’ is getting mighty shaky…

Over the last couple of years, lawmakers in at least 10 U.S. states have introduced legislation that would allow state commerce to be conducted with gold and silver coins. Could this be the beginning of a new trend?

Home made cough syrup-Mix 2 Tbs. of honey with 1tsp. Of baking soda.

The Weekly Roundup of useful stuff…

Valentine’s Day Freebies-hot, sweet and sticky…
Make sparks fly this Valentine’s Day-two out of three women are more affectionate if their partner reads to them in bed. The softer, more intimate tones he uses while reading out loud act as a relaxing aphrodisiac say experts…the bedtime stories found to woo women best include romantic classics, travel guides and restaurant reviews - go figure.

In the 3rd century, the Romans practiced a pagan celebration of a young man’s rite of passage to the god Lupercus. These young men would pick from a lottery, the names of teenage girls and these girls would then be their sexual companions for the remainder of the year.

Pope Gelasius wanted to do away with this celebration, so he ordered a change to the lottery. Both men and women would draw the names of saints instead, and they were to emulate these saints for the rest of the year. He also chose a new patron saint of love to replace the pagan god Lupercus and that was St. Valentine.

St. Valentine was stoned and beheaded by the Emperor Claudius II, on Feb 14, AD 270, for performing secret marriages for young lovers. At this time, the Emperor believed that married men made poor soldiers and banned marriage from his empire. While imprisoned, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of a jailer and would sign his love notes to her ‘From Your Valentine’, a phrase that is still used to this day.

>Average amount spent on Valentine’s Day (US)-$103
>Men spend nearly two times more than women
>One in four prefer Valentine’s Day with their pet vs. their mate
>Top three gifts-Dinner, flowers and candy

Here are a few sites offering free things to spice up the day of romance.

What Information do they have on you…you’d be amazed!
Most of us have probably gotten a copy of our credit reports from time to time, but you have probably never gotten all the information that other database repositories have on you. Lexis/Nexis, more thought of as a database of legal cases and news stories, has another business -- collecting information about you! You have a right to get a free report about yourself to see what information they have collected. When writing to them, ask for the full disclosure report.

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Marketplace creates 'trade rings' for group swaps
Netcycler matches up multiple people and goods so that each person
gets a wished-for item and is able to get rid of something too. This
should allow greater swapping opportunities than one-to-one trades.

Whiten your teeth for less-dip a wet toothbrush in baking soda, top with dollop of toothpaste .Repeat 2-4 times a month, also neutralizes bad breath.

A frequently asked question. And the answer is almost always the same. But lets look at the art of blacksmithing a little first.

Blacksmithing is not all pounding iron, it is design, layout, cutting, drilling, joining, finishing, tempering, welding, brazing, tool making. . . Blacksmithing is almost ALL the metal working trades all combined. More at these sites:

Make your own propane forge at home

DIY Hybrid electric bike how-to…this site also offers other interesting projects for the do-it-yourselfer including my favorite - how to build a gyrocopter!
This site offers how-to and DIY kits…pickle jar minnow trap, hard tack, simple rabbit trap, ghetto knife, DIY cross-bow, etc.

Real easy home-made solar cooker
Complete solar cookers can be purchased on eBay-variety of prices/styles

Remember to clean your lint trap after every use-saves $35 annually on electric bills.

What is Hydronic Heating & how it can save some cash…
In simplest terms, today’s hydronic heating is an energy efficient home heating system that uses tubing to run a hot liquid beneath the floor, along base board heaters, or through radiators to heat your home. Also referred to as radiant heating, this type of system has become increasingly popular among families that want added comfort and control in their heating zones, savings through lower heating bills, and a decrease in their environmental impact by making smart green building choices.

The hot water, or alternative heated liquid, of the hydronic radiant heat system is circulated throughout the home through loops of plastic piping. Most often, these tubes are installed within your homes concrete slab or floor joist system as radiant flooring, and allow the heat to radiate evenly across the entire floor surface. In addition, baseboard heating units and radiators can be used as sources of hydronic heat.
You can find a variety of such heaters in all price ranges on eBay.
More at:

Stop buying disposable cleaning wipes. Instead, layer paper coffee filters in a resealable container and pour in just enough multi-surface cleaner to dampen each one.

Growing Garlic for profit
Garlic can be grown in a number of environments & can be sold for a profit.
There are two main kinds of garlic. (Actually, there are three. The third kind, 'elephant garlic', Allium ampeloprasum, has absolutely enormous cloves, but has no garlic flavor worth mentioning.) The first is 'Common garlic', which is the usual white skinned supermarket type plus the silverskin types generally used for braiding and available at farmers markets; and 'Hard neck garlic', which is much less common. Find a complete how-to here…

>>December was the third month in a row in which consumer credit grew in the United States. Prior to that, consumer credit in the United States had declined for 20 months in a row

Parting shots…

Jackpot! This past week the PM & his wife went to an estate sale, something a bit rare in the winter. Turns out the home is being foreclosed upon and the couple is moving to HI to stay warm. The fellow had a large storeroom filled with dehydrated survival foods priced dirt cheap. Needless to say, we stocked up. Freeze dried food lasts many years but it is not cheap.

Your Medicaid and Medicare benefits are under assault:
Already, on a state level, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has asked Washington for permission to drop Medicaid coverage for 280,000 people. Other states are doing the same.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Medicare is, by far, the largest, fastest growing piece of the deficit disaster. Experts of both parties admit that there’s no way to stop the deficit from exploding out of control WITHOUT cutting Medicare.

If you’re going to depend on Medicare, this crisis is a direct threat. And if you’re an investor or trader, this crisis could be a powerful force that sparks global investors to dump U.S. bonds and the U.S. dollar.

SECOND: Your personal safety is now at greater risk in many areas of the country.
City after city and state after state are releasing prison inmates, gutting police, fire and emergency rescue services, shutting down entire departments.
Funding cuts for transplants has already resulted in patient deaths in Arizona and other states are likely not far behind.

Finally, I watched a re-run of the movie, The Right Stuff, about our early astronauts and space program. Putting a man on the moon, a vision of John F. Kennedy, became an immense source of pride to our nation…we could use a shot of that again.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all and to my own sweetheart…her personal ‘Valentino’ Poor Man! Go to our OldBookNook site as we’re running a sale off our low prices.

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

Free Money assistance for women, businesses, more.

A Shallow Planet Production

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Raising Frogs for Fun & Profit, Lower Funeral Costs

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

In This Issue:

1. Raising frogs for fun n profit
2. Learn how to dowse
3. Lowering funeral costs…or eliminate it
4. Why do immigrants succeed in America?
5. Why US factory jobs are unlikely to return to the USA-video

In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.
--Mark Twain

America, land of special interests

The number of lobbyists in Washington has finally leveled off. However, there are still too many well-heeled groups buying influence from politicians. One of our readers sent me a news clipping written by a man in MI which states some of the obvious. I’ve condensed some of the points here.

Has America become the land of the special interest & home of the double standard?

Let’s see, if we lie to Congress, it’s a felony but if Congress lies to us, it’s just politics….in public schools you can teach homosexuality is OK, but you better not use the word ‘God.’

We got rid of Communists and socialists by renaming them Progressives; we are unable to close our border with Mexico but have no problem protecting the 38th parallel in Korea. You can watch pornography on TV & the internet, but you better not put a Nativity scene in a public park…

We all support the Constitution, but only when it supports our political ideology; we still have freedom of speech, but only if it’s politically correct. What’s happened to real freedom in this country?”

A new Gallup poll found that 67 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the size and influence of major corporations in the United States today. Not only that, the most recent Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index found that only 26 percent of Americans trust our financial system at this point. The mainstream media is acting as if this is a new phenomenon, but the truth is that a dislike of giant corporations goes all the way back to the founding of this nation.

There’s little doubt that our freedoms and economic security are being hijacked by special interest groups, especially those corporations who sell ‘spy-on-your-citizen’ technology - all in the name of securing our freedom. What do you think? (thanks Jim for this contribution).

Old cupcake tins can be reused to hold nuts and bolts, loose screws, etc.

This week’s roundup

Speedbit Video Accelerator – Some people have a lot of luck with a video accelerator program like Speedbit’s Video Accelerator. It installs a program in your browser that is designed to help eliminate buffering on video sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, Facebook, CNN and more. The free version will be enough for most people, but if you want to accelerate HD video, you will need to pay for the premium version.

Federal Energy Tax Credits were eliminated on Dec 31st (would have saved up to $1500 for improvements on insulation, etc.)…they continue through 2016 for major projects such as solar, wind and geothermal. Most states still offer rebates or incentive programs however. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables at:
Your utility provider may have such programs and/or can help direct you to programs within your state.

Cola can be substituted for penetrating oil in a pinch for
Removing rusted bolts…soak overnight. Also good for cleaning chrome.

Raising frogs for profit & eating…plenty of pitfalls to consider.

When I was a young lad, a local hospital paid us 10 cents a frog. We captured them with nets at a local pond. Frog legs, whether French fried or sautéed in garlic & butter are mighty good.

Edible Frogs
A number of species of frogs, including the green frog (Rana clamitans), the leopard frog (Rana pipiens), and the pickerel frog (Rana palustris), are harvested from the wild and sold as a luxury food - frog legs - in expensive restaurants. However, the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) has the greatest potential for culture.
The common bullfrog, often referred to as the "Giant Frog" or "Jumbo Frog," is the largest native North American species, often reaching 8 inches in body length. Because of its large size, the bullfrog is the most preferred and commonly attempted species for farming.

Frogs and other amphibians are coldblooded animals that grow slowly, not a particularly desirable trait for farming. The rate of growth of the bullfrog tadpole varies with the climate, length of the growing season, and available food supply. Even in temperate climates, it may take a year or more to transform the tadpole into a young bullfrog. Another year or more is required to produce a mature, marketable-size bullfrog. Therefore, in the mid-latitude states like Virginia, development from egg to a mature bullfrog of harvestable size may take over 3 years, even under ideal conditions.

See the Poor Man site for the how-to’s of raising fish in a barrel-Urban Livestock page.

According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills cause more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States.
According to that same study, approximately three-fourths of those that do go bankrupt because of medical bills actually do have health insurance

Lowering the cost of a funeral

The Poor Man buried his parents last year and it wasn’t cheap. The obit alone ran $500 for each of them in local newspapers…The Poor Man donated his entire body to science upon his demise. Organ donation is always a good way of helping others. (they’ll have fun checking my brain).

As the economy has slowed, more families have been forced, for financial reasons, to choose cremation instead of body burial when someone they care about dies.
A typical traditional funeral followed by body burial in a cemetery costs between $7,000 and $10,000. A typical funeral service that results in the body being cremated runs approximately $3000. While the trend towards cremation will likely continue in the near future, there are things you can do to make body burial more affordable.

One of the simplest things a family can do is choose a service level known as an “immediate burial”. With an immediate burial the body is taken directly from the place of death (or morgue) to the cemetery. Normally, the body stops at the funeral home just long enough to secure the death certificate and burial permit (and for the family to buy a cemetery plot if they don’t already own one). No funeral ceremony is held at the funeral home.

Warning! If the sole source of heat in your home is a woodburning stove, many insurance companies will not offer homeowners coverage to you…double check your policy.

Do you have questions about making your home more environmentally friendly? Are you trying to find a green professional in your area to do work on your home? Do you want to read articles on learning how to make your home greener? Well then, you've come to the right place.

A disaster planning recovery guide is a useful document addressing how a business or institution prepares and institutes strategies to recover from man-made or natural disasters. In many organizations and businesses, executive management appoints a disaster recovery committee to create disaster planning recovery guides and procedures

Read more: Disaster Planning Recovery Guides |

The U.S. government has now deployed VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams to set up security checkpoints at bus terminals, subway stations and on major highways

Dowsing is an old method of finding water that flows underground. It takes an open mind and practice to master the ancient skill. Practitioners swear by it, and many make a living locating water and other materials. Start slowly and take your time when learning how to dowse. You'll find water before you know it.

Read more: How to Dowse a Water Well Site |


"’re going to pay $25 for a loaf of bread pretty soon. Look at what’s happening with our food prices. They’re going through the roof. We could end up being another Egypt. You could have riots in our streets also."--Donald Trump

Elizabeth Warren
: Consumer Protections to Arrive This Summer
A new federal watchdog will be policing credit cards, mortgages and other financial products beginning this summer. Treasury Adviser Elizabeth Warren explains how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will impact consumers

100 Super Bowl Facts…just for you.
Your quick guide to over 100 facts and figures on spending, consumption and advertising surrounding the Super Bowl. We reviewed more than 200 sources, selected the most essential pieces of information and made it into an easily digestible guide.
Get your copy of the 2011 Super Bowl Facts and Figures report today! (You must email them with why you want the guide, even if you’re just a fan.

The so-called PATRIOT act was a farce from the beginning. If you don't think the pols have got you dancing to their tune, go back and look at the last 70-80 years - look at the growth of the Military Industrial Complex which we are seeing the fruit of now. The patriot act is just the latest over-ripe piece of garbage..

A metal 2lb or greater (empty) metal coffee can turned upside down over a can of sterno can make a quick stove…use a pointed can opener to pop several openings on the top and sides to allow some venting. Useful for keeping soup and other low heat foods warm.

Why do immigrants seem to do well in America? Parting thought

Other than illegal immigrants, it seems to many that immigrants, especially Asians and those from India do well in the United States. Are they harder working, more frugal, get special tax breaks?

For the most part, the answer is no, though Asian children do seem more driven by their parent’s to succeed in life and at a younger age. In fact, not all immigrants remain here.

Those who had left found life in the U.S. had many drawbacks. Returnees cited language barriers, missing their family and friends at home, difficulty with cultural assimilation, and care of parents and children as key issues. About a third of the Indians and a fifth of the Chinese said that visas were a strong factor in their decision to return home, but others left for opportunity and to be close to family and friends. And it wasn't just new immigrants who were returning. In fact, 30% of respondents held permanent resident status or were U.S. citizens.

New Census numbers show the largest growth rate in the US is from Hispanics, throughout the entire country. MI, for instance, would’ve had a zero growth rate if it weren’t for Mexicans!


World famous investor Harry Schultz recently published the last issue of his legendary financial newsletter. After 45 years, the following is how Schultz summed up the economic collapse that we are now facing....

"Roughly speaking, the mess we are in is the worst since 17th century financial collapse. Comparisons with the 1930’s are ludicrous. We’ve gone far beyond that. And, alas, the courage & political will to recognize the mess & act wisely to reverse gears, is absent in U.S. leadership, where the problems were hatched & where the rot is by far the deepest."

David Stockman, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan was quoted by Schultz as saying the following about how desperate things are about to become....
"Get some gold, beans, water, anything that Bernanke can’t destroy. Ron Paul is right. We’re entering a global monetary conflagration. If a sell-off of U.S. bonds starts, it will be an Armageddon."

TULLY, Australia – First came the terrifying roar, then a violent bang like something had exploded. "We gotta go!" David Leger screamed to his father as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in Australia tore the roof off their home, sucking the air up and out of the room like a vacuum.
More & more natural and man made disasters everywhere. Are you prepared?

Finally, watch this Detroit News video as to why it’s unlikely US automotive jobs will ever return to the US in any meaningful numbers…pay attention to the last 30 seconds.

That’s it for this issue…enjoy the Big Game!

Yours for ‘living under the radar,” the Poor Man

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