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Saturday, May 28, 2011

$15K Giveaway, US Needs Tort Reform, Buy American

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A digest of urban survival resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       $15,000 Give-away

2.      Traffic tickets cost us dearly

3.      You can’t buy American

4.      Why our country needs tort reform

5.      Worldwide, Freedom and Privacy are eroding

The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people.
-- Dr. Ron Paul

Tort Reform…Why we need it!

   One of the reasons our country is in trouble is because we lack tort reform.  Stupid lawsuits cost all of us, yet, there are times when a lawsuit is in order.

Technically, a tort is any civil wrong in which a damaged victim can seek legal redress from the individual who caused the harm. In its political context, "tort reform" generally refers to proposals to limit the prevalence of legal claims prosecuted with the assistance of personal injury lawyers which are perceived to unfairly burden insurance policy holders with exorbitant premiums. Tort law, like most of our legal system, is traditionally a matter of state "common law" and legislation.

In reality, the "tort system" is part of an overall system for compensating victims who suffer from accidental injuries. Accidents are a part of our human experience. Studies indicate that over the course of a year, approximately 20% of Americans suffer some type of accidental injury and most of these require a doctor's attention.  The vast majority of accidents causing economic loss are either work-related or automobile-related. Many of these accidents do not involve potential liability of a third party. The primary source of compensation for medical treatment of these injuries is the victim's health insurance.

Facts About Tort Liability And Its Impact On Consumers:

Overall Impact: The United States Economy

The cost of the U.S. tort system for 2003 was $246 billion, or $845 per citizen or $3,380 for a family of four.

U.S. tort costs increased 35.4 percent from 2000 to 2003.

The Growth of U.S. tort costs have exceeded the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2-3 percentage points in the past 50 years.

The U.S. tort system is inefficient; it returns less than 50 cents on the dollar and less than 22 cents for actual economic loss to claimants.

One (of many) of the failings of Obama’s health care strategy is because it failed to address tort reform as expensive lawsuits contribute to high medical malpractice premiums and that cost is passed onto the consumers.

(Another problem with the health care package is it also failed to drop the need for small businesses to carry workman’s comp – an expensive cost for businesses.  If universal healthcare were to help small businesses, that must be addressed as well).

Get the 2011 Tort Reform Report here:

Pretzel sticks make a nice alternative to toothpicks for spearing meatball appetizers.

Poor Man’s ‘Betty Schocker’ compendium of useful stuff

Seth Godin, who gives great advice on marketing and self-actualization, and his Domino Project are giving away $15,000 in gift cards along with free eCopies of Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance.”

(While you’re there, you might sign up for Seth’s blog posts. Good stuff – Inspiring, original, and helps you stay focused and productive.)

For details, go to

Free eRecipe Cookbooks…get their must have picnic recipes now

Our selection of free recipe eCookbooks is the ultimate resource for cooking. Each eCookbook includes a collection of recipes on a theme. Whether it's eating on a budget, chicken casserole recipes, restaurant copycat recipes, or our favorite dessert recipes, has you covered. You can easily download and print out each eCookbook for easy reference while cooking.

There is a new service called where you type in your zip code and set a mileage number of how far to search. You can search just in your zip code or up to 50 miles away. The basic service is free. It’s free to post a yard sale and it’s free to look for one near you.

Adding a sheet of tinfoil under the napkin in your bread basket keeps the bread warm longer!

Got Iron?  The Poor Man picked up an antique lidded cast iron dutch oven at an auction last week for $1 but it was mighty rusty.  These are great for outdoor and survival cooking and retail online for $25 and up…I use that old standby for making this useful by using Naval Jelly.  Good stuff and here are a few hints about its uses.

Naval Jelly Recommended For

Use on iron railings, barbeque grills, automobiles, patio furniture, tools, antiques, mailboxes, lawn mowers, bicycles & lamp posts

Removing rust from metal surfaces made of iron or steel

Not Recommended For







Create an Online Family History

Get a free account, then you and other family members can upload documents, text, photos, video, etc. making it easy to preserve family history.

Give seedlings a boost if you start them in a window.  Place a sheet of aluminum foil behind them with the shiny side facing the seedlings - it will reflect the light & illuminate the dark side so they will grow straighter and sturdier.

Start small…over planting is a common mistake.  Think about which vegetable varieties you want, then pick the easiest to grow.  Get more guidance at:

Ramp-up your Job Search Skills: The job search process can seem overwhelming, but you'll be amazed at how quickly you can get up to speed if you spend just a few minutes each day learning the "how-to" of the search. One of my favorite resources for daily job search tips and strategies is the newsletter, Smart Brief on Your Career. It is a quick-read that provides links to five or six articles on the job search and other career related topics. Sign up at to get updates delivered daily.


Use left over ice cube trays as a paint palette - great for kids!

The Nanny State Updates…

Traffic Violation Tickets Cost Plenty

Consumers may know that their bad driving record will raise their car insurance, but just how much will a single moving violation cost them?

Plenty, according to a new analysis from The website looked at 32,000 of its auto insurance policies sold in 2010 and found that those with zero moving violations on their driving record can expect to pay, on average, $1,119 a year in premiums. However, as soon as a consumer had a moving violation on record, the quotes skyrocketed. Their analysis found that:

• One violation led to an average annual premium cost of $1,318, an 18% increase.

• Two violations lead to average annual premium cost of $1,497, a 34% increase.

• Three violations lead to an average annual premium cost of $1,713, a 53% increase.

In the first quarter of 2010, the pay earned by private sector workers provided the smallest share of personal income, at 42%, in US history.  Public sector pay continues to average higher than private sector…any wonder why local governments are bankrupt?

If the US sold all of the gold that it holds in Fort Knox and elsewhere, at today's record high price of ~$1,500 an ounce, we would only get enough money to pay about one-third of THIS YEAR'S budget shortfall.

If ALL of the gold mined in the history of the world were ours to sell, we could pay off only about 60% of the U.S.A.'s national debt.

No amount of increased taxation can solve America's problems. We have spent $14 trillion that we don't have, and our governments at every level keep spending more.

Big Brother Is Watching You: Overreaching law enforcement puts privacy rights at risk.
In 1991, George Holliday filmed the LAPD's arrest and beating of Rodney King. The videotape provoked national controversy. If a similar incident happened today, it might provoke something else: the arrest of George Holliday. And as A. Barton Hinkle observes, the war on cameras isn't the only way overreaching law enforcement officials are now trampling individual rights. From warrantless searches to state-mandated cell phone alert systems, big brother is watching you…more at:

Global politicians will give speeches about liberty and freedom even as they undermine them at every turn. There are very, very few nations on the planet where liberty and freedom are increasing. Instead, almost everywhere you turn the "control grid" is getting tighter. Governments don't want us gathering together and interacting with one another. Instead, they want us to work our tails off to support the system, they want us enslaved financially and constantly drowning in debt, and they want us addicted to television and other forms of entertainment. Read more at:

Natural First Aid
for an Insect Bite

If you’re at a picnic and you get an insect bite or sting, apply mustard to the area to help relieve the pain, itch and redness. You can also use ice cubes or a paste made from table salt and water to bring down the swelling

Parting Thoughts- You can’t buy American

   The Poor Man has reported previously about groups who have set up web sites that point out American made products.  As most of us know and according to a TV report on ABC News, virtually no one can buy made-strictly-in-America products.  The TV show asked families to leave their home while a crew got rid of every item in their home which was not made in America.

Most came back to a nearly empty home.  Even our autos are pieced out from manufacturers around the globe.

This means no iPods, computers, diamond rings, cell phones, stereos etc., would be gone.  Still, as pointed out in the last issue about Depression era economics, adding higher tariffs to foreign made goods wouldn’t work either - if we ‘punish’ those countries, they would retaliate with higher prices on the goods they sell to us.

Further, it would probably cut off our own manufacturers who do business overseas such as Caterpillar and Boeing.

In either case, our economy, thanks to Washington, is in trouble no matter how the deck is cut.  We’re headed for another debt ceiling and Washington continues its ‘sleight-of-hand’ accounting tricks to hide their stupidity.  If we do default on our obligations, it could mean several things…a one world ‘basket-style’ currency tied into several national currencies, a complete loss of confidence in the US economic system (higher prices for all of us on EVERYTHING), or worse.

However Washington manages to prolong the situation or pull another rabbit out of the hat, it’s only a matter of time before our fiscal nova or Armageddon hits us between the eyes.

Your contrarian curmudgeon, the Poor Man.

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