Keep Our Service Free-Donate

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sites to Sell Used Baby Items, Revolt of the Have-Nots

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Sites to sell off used baby items

2.      Economic Hell for American Families

3.      Is class warfare inevitable – Revolt of the Have nots

4.      More ‘Bargain Master’ sites to save money

5.      Signs you got too much sun – a little summer humor

No Man is ever free, and he couldn’t stand it if he were - William Faulkner

The 4th Most Dangerous Organization Against Freedom of Choice

ABC reports that 60 million Americans have to abide by various homeowners' association rules, which "decree everything from what color you can paint your house to how often your trash gets picked up and where you can park your car."

Rarely does a week go by where we don’t hear of some control-freak homeowners association trampling freedom of choice.  It fully escapes me as to why anyone would choose to live under such rules…we have enough dumb rules and regulations forced upon us by federal, state and local governments.

Most recently, a Macedonia, OH man is being skewered by an association for flying the American flag from a pole vs. his home.  Twenty of his neighbors are sticking by this war veteran.

Oh, the most dangerous organization is the Fed, followed by Congress and local governments.

There’s little question our freedoms are eroding and few in Congress (or mainstream America) seems to give a damn.

On another note…

An entry-level salary often doesn't go very far these days. According to a study by the Heldrich Center, the median starting salary for those who graduated from four-year degree programs in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who graduated in 2006 to 2008, before the recession. (Try living on $27,000 a year -- before taxes -- in a city like New York, Washington or Chicago.)

With that in mind, read the short piece below about Economic Hell in America.

Heal a blister with moisturizer.  Even though I do it all the time, you’re not supposed to pop a blister; instead, apply moisturizer and cover with a bandage for faster healing.

Pm’s Betty Shocker Compendium of Useful Resources

Sites for Selling Used Baby Goods

   Kids grow quickly and are always in need of new clothing and other items.  Here are a few online sites to sell off what you no longer need.

> - Designed for parents who wish to trade or sell their baby related stuff without the headaches of eBay or Craigslist.  Free registration and you can begin to buy and sell quickly.

> - Essentially an online clothing swap.  To sell, members fill a medium postal service flat rate box and list the contents on the site.  Buyers choose the box they want, then pay a service fee and shipping costs.

> - You can sell or trade used baby gear through listings under its numerous categories to find items you’re interested in. Then contact the seller to arrange for either payment or a swap.


A Little Recipe to create a great holiday feast


teaspoons chili powder
teaspoons packed brown sugar
teaspoons grated lime peel
teaspoon salt
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
teaspoons olive or canola oil

1 Heat gas or charcoal grill. In small bowl, mix chili powder, brown sugar, lime peel, salt, garlic powder and ground red pepper. Rub both sides of chicken with oil, then with spice mixture. 2 Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).

 Signs you got too much sun

>To your husband’s delight, the only thing you can wear is a smile

>Your two-year-old keeps calling you Elmo

>Your friend is trying to match her lipstick to your arm

Run out of spackling?  Use white toothpaste in its place using a spackling knife.  Smooth and let dry and then repaint.

Conquer your debt

This site is highly acclaimed for its focus on money issues, providing a practical education in practical money matters.

Money advice and news you can use

Comprehensive site featuring daily deal alerts, a variety of useful calculators, financial columns and more.

More ‘bargain master’ sites to use…

Inside deals on laptops, GPS devices and more

Have fun on a budget

Free to join, pay half price for sporting events, comedy shows and more.

Daily Deals and Online Bargains

Has an active consumer forum which you can use to share your finds and cash-back deals

Heading outdoors?  Protect yourself from bugs by rubbing your body with dryer sheets - keeps biting bugs away!

The Nanny State Updates…

New Executive Order from Obama - White House Rural Council

Will create public-private partnership (aka: Fortune 500 contributors) to capitalize on rural assets…

Before the federal government "fixes" the problems of rural America, perhaps it should focus on "fixing" many of the other problems it has created first....

*Growing numbers of military veterans cannot find jobs once they leave the U.S. military. In fiscal 2008, the Pentagon spent $450 million on unemployment benefits for military vets. In fiscal 2010, the Pentagon spent almost twice as much - $882 million. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for military veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 is more than 30%.

According to a recent CNN poll, 48 percent of Americans believe that "another Great Depression" is likely within the next 12 months. Americans have been waiting for almost three years for a "recovery" to materialize, but instead there are all kinds of signs that the economy is about to get worse yet again. Inflation is rising but wages are not. There are millions of Americans that would do just about anything to get a decent job. The "misery index" is the highest it has been in almost 30 years. All of the recent polls show that the American people are more pessimistic about the economy than at any other time in recent memory.

Economic Hell For American Families

My husband lost his long-term job in 2009 due to budget cuts. Don’t worry, I said. I’m still working, and we have a year of our salary in savings. You’re smart, you’re educated, you’re a hard worker. You’ll find a job soon.

Two months later, my long-term job was sent to India.

I still wasn’t worried. I’m smart, I’m educated, and I’m a smart worker.

A year and a half later, I haven’t found new career yet. I’m 50. No one is going to hire me. I am working – at a Home Depot. At a 79% pay cut from my prior position. But it doesn’t pay for anything. My husband found a new position in his field – at a 62% pay cut from his prior position.

We lived off unemployment and our savings, until both ran out. We put our house and investment property on the market the day after I lost my job.

We haven’t had one offer.

We just had our Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged. Our foreclosure is still pending. No word yet when that will be done.

To add insult to injury, we owe Federal income taxes on the penalties we used to make withdrawals from our 401(k)’s to live off. My husband took a job in another state, and we were SHOCKED to learn that we owed NEW YORK STATE taxes on the income he earned in Mississippi – to New York state! Apparently there is some loophole that if you are a property owner in New York, but earn income in another state, you have to pay New York state income taxes on out of state earned income.

We’ve been told once our foreclosure is finalized, we may owe taxes on that as well.

What happened to our country

"Strictly speaking, it probably is not “necessary” for the federal government to tax anyone directly; it could simply print the money it needs. However, that would be too bold a stroke, for it would then be obvious to all what kind of counterfeiting operation the government is running. The present system combining taxation and inflation is akin to watering the milk; too much water and the people catch on."
-- Ron Paul

The Parting Shot - Is Class Warfare on the horizon?  Revolt of the Have-nots

I’ve written extensively on the huge income inequality gap, the decimation of the middle class and our jobs, falling values of homes, inflationary ravages on our buying power and more. 

The economic plight and frustrations of the middle class barely get a sound bite on the national news and even less discussion in Washington (they won’t bite the hand that feeds them).  Corporate controlled media rarely even mentions the new wave of violence being perpetrated by gangs of young people who attack and rob stores and citizens in such cities as Chicago.

The failure of our political parties to address the true needs of the nation has soured almost everyone on our system of government.  Politics is more about divisive cultural warfare than problem solving.  All of that leaves most of us feeling disconnected and with a sense that the middle class has been shoved over a cliff, now the forgotten class.

Yet, during the past three years, all of the corporations below made a lot of money. Yet all of them paid net taxes that were below zero for those three years combined.

How is that possible? Well, it turns out that instead of paying in taxes to the federal government, they were actually getting money back.

A third of all the wealth in the world is held in "offshore" tax havens.

What U.S. corporations are able to get away with is absolutely amazing.

The following figures come directly out of a report by Citizens for Tax Justice. These are combined figures for the tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

So for these corporations, their rate of taxation was actually below zero.

If you have not seen these before, you are going to have a hard time believing some of these statistics.....


Profits: $4.9 billion

Taxes: -$34 million

*Fed Ex*

Profits: $3 billion

Taxes: -$23 million

*Wells Fargo*

Profits: $49.37 billion

Taxes: -$681 million


Profits: $9.7 billion

Taxes: -$178 million


Profits: $32.5 billion

Taxes: -$951 million


Profits: $2.1 billion

Taxes -$72 million

*American Electric Power*

Profits: $5.89 billion

Taxes -$545 million

*General Electric*

Profits: $7.7 billion

Taxes: -$4.7 billion

Plainly, the Washington-Wall Street Cartel don’t give a damn about the country! Keep in mind the revolts in the middle east were started by a pissed off, unemployed younger population.

Yours for the ‘forgotten class’, the Poor Man

Follow us on Facebook


Keep our services free, visit our sites…

Check our Resources

New self sufficiency books added weekly

A Shallow Planet Production

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More Ways to Score Deep Discounts, China's Rise-Our Demise

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A digest of urban survival resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.   More useful ways to get online discounts

2.   Make some cash selling domain names

3.   How to use a compass while hiking

4.  China’s Rise, our demise – Feeding the beast

"If you look at Washington, you see permanently camped on the banks of the Potomac spread around in concentric circles an army representing thousands of selfish interests. The sole purpose of their presence is to plunder, by hook or crook, the public treasury for the benefit of their particular people or corporations."
-- Charlie Reese

One easy way to cut government waste -

Despite promises to cut spending, Politicians have increase their ‘vacations’!

  Mrs. Obama and children (and huge entourage) visited S. Africa this week.  How nice.  The Obama’s take more expensive vacation than just about any other President (except for perhaps Clinton who visited something like 52 countries).  It cost a ton of taxpayer bucks to visit Africa, Spain, Europe, etc.

Indeed, all politicians spend a boatload of our money on fancy trips, often supposedly to “see first hand’ what the situation is in - You Name the Country.

What a load of horse manure.  What the hell do we pay generals, and ambassadors for?  Pick up the damned phone and call to find out what’s going on!

Politicians are driven around in limos, eat at nothing but first class restaurants, have the best health care and clubs and more…all at taxpayer expense.  Talk about cutting waste, start with Washington.

Although the White House refuses to share the actual cost for a trip to HI, here’s a breakdown we found:

>Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)

>Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)

>Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800

>Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs

>Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)

>Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)

TOTAL COST: $1,474,200

Then there are the unknown costs:

-Rental of office building in Kailua on canal

-Security upgrades and additional phone lines

-Costs for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel (Secret Service imports most of the cars used here to escort the president)

-Surveillance before the president arrives

-Travel costs for Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President

Source:  The

“This is an important issue for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that millions of dollars are spent on flying lawmakers all around the world,” says Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. “It is a form of influence peddling when sponsored by private entities. When the government pays for it, we need to know that tax dollars are being used wisely instead of funding junkets.”

Lawmakers can travel at taxpayers' expense or accept free trips to symposiums paid for by academic institutions and think tanks. The latter often gets lawmakers and their family members to exotic destinations for a little food for thought and a whole lot of wining and dining.  Each trip costs taxpayers an average of $220,000!

Our Washington ruling class cost a fortune.  Tell them to take a bus!

Use Listerine to disinfect your home and get rid of mold.  Spritz a solution of half water and half mouth wash on surfaces including grout.  Let stand a couple of minutes and wipe clean.

PM’s Betty Shocker Compendium of Useful Stuff…


FEMA has an excellent booklet titled Risks and Hazards: A State by State Guide. It is a state by state guide covering tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, snow and extreme cold, tsunamis, nuclear power plants, and nuclear attack (the "Big One" not terrorists/small scale attacks). The booklet will give you an idea of the possibility of these threats for your state/region.

 FEMA-196 Risks and Hazards: A State by State Guide

Another Method of Making Some Extra Cash

 The Poor Man probably owns close to 25 domain names.  Although I’ve never attempted to sell them, there are plenty of folks making money by selling domain names, some with a website already attached to them (plenty of examples on eBay).

You may recall stories of entrepreneurs who owned and other major names before such retailers decided to increase sales through a web presence.  Imagine their surprise when they learned had already been taken (along with several variations)!  Nearly all of the major retailers ponied up some big bucks to buy back their domain name and it was all perfectly legally.

Most domain names can be reserved for about $10.  You can find such registrars by going to Google and typing in “domain names’ into the search engine.  I use and GoDaddy.  You’ll often find specials for less than $2 as I did recently on GoDaddy.  The ‘com’ domain names are becoming somewhat scarce and there are many others to use now such as ‘Biz,’ ‘US’, ‘Net,’ ‘Org,” ’Info,” etc.

Once you own the name and wish to sell it, you can use eBay or via sites such as: or

If you have some basic website building skills, create a basic website to enhance the value.  Many of the domain names I own are similar to and/or deal with frugal living.  All of them use ‘redirects’ to steer folks to my main site as a traffic builder.

Clean your keyboard with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol; use rubbing alcohol to clean TV and Computer monitors and other electronics too (we use it to clean DVDs too).

More Ways to Get Discounts

Bargain masters already use the internet and such sites as Groupon to grab great deals.  More and more such sites seem to pop up each week.  The ‘local deal’ has been a huge hit among the frugal living.  Sites like Groupon and negotiate special discount rates with merchants and then resell the vouchers to the public.

Back in the day, I did the same thing with newspaper publishers.  I’d buy full page ads at deeply discounted rates (usually getting their best customer rate) because I’d pay cash upfront.  I’d then resell blocks of those ads to other merchants at a discount.  Made some nice cash in that fashion.

Consumers buy the vouchers online with a credit card and print it out and then use it at the local merchant.  Even small cities are getting in on the act.  Some of the newer sites include:

>> - which is now in 182 areas and offers the same kinds of deals as Groupon but with a twist…convince three of your friends to buy the same deal and you get your voucher free!

>> - Although not widespread yet, their vouchers last a full seven days.

You’ll also want to check out some aggregator sites which monitor individual sites and consolidates their current offers into a single list.

Here are some aggregator sites to look at:

>   >  >  >

Helpful note:  be sure to use the voucher before they expire or try reselling them on a site such as:

Use deodorant to stop the sting of an insect bite.  The aluminum in it counteracts the pain and stops the swelling.

How to Use a Compass and Map

The Poor Man does not own or use GPS.  I’m not sure how one would use it and the few times I’ve driven within someone using such a system, it was wrong as often as it was right..  You can be your own compass, which is better for backpacking and hiking, especially when there are no marked trails.

1.  First, determine your relationship to true north by first finding your location on the map and placing the compass over it.

2.  True your north by locating a visible landmark, such as a hill or stream which is shown on your map as being due north, south, east or west of you.  Use the landmark to adjust for the difference between true north and magnetic north, which is what the compass needle indicates.  In the US, magnetic north can vary by up to 20 degrees from true north.

3.  Find midpoints - note the compass bearing of your desired destination.  Choose an intermediate landmark located along the same line, and start hiking toward it.

Any Boy Scout handbook will provide a more in-depth course on using maps and compasses and more.

Polish your wood furniture with a few drops of baby oil.  Apply to a clean cloth and wipe the surface - no toxic chemical residue and cheap!  Use it on wood picture frames…On old frames, use GoJo to clean and revitalize the wood.

China’s Rise, Our Demise - The Parting Thought

 Feeding the beast that destroys us…

   Many Americans, except for celebrity gossip and sports, do not follow the news that matters to this country.  Few realize the extent of our national debt due to out-of-control spending by Washington during the past thirty years.

Even fewer seem to be aware of how our educational system is failing us, despite massive amounts of public funds poured into public schools.  America has fallen behind China in every meaningful category from education to spending on infrastructure.  It’s being predicted that China will surpass America as the number one economy before 2020.

It’s been reported that China is now opening economic zones in the United States, beginning this year in Idaho.  The Washington-Wall Street Cartel has squandered our national resources.  Through an outdated tax system, bureaucratic red tape, the criminalization of almost all behavior and porous borders, Washington has rendered our country impotent.

State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into U.S. energy reserves.

With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent

China has recently surpassed Japan as the world’s number two economy and despite skepticism from some.   Although internal scandals and a slowdown has hampered China, they have no national debt.

China’s rise to economic super power has dire consequences for the American way of life and will give rise to a new economic global order.  It will alter the cultural, ethnic and political structure of this country.

What is truly ironic is how mainstream Americans have fed the beast that is destroying our jobs and way of life.  A visit to any WalMart, Hobby Lobby or Harbor Freight Tools, for instance, will tell you we no longer make anything in this country.  The manufacturing sector is what built our middle class, something I now call the ‘Whittled Class.”  That too is being destroyed and any economics or political science professor will tell that when a country stops producing things, its destruction is assured.

It’s no secret that we have the best money government can buy and the industrial complex has been selling, leaking or losing technical information to the Chinese for years beginning with Nixon and Clinton.  Special interests rule this country, not our elected representatives.

Some have suggested our demise has been planned as a part of the New World Order, under which American workers have been sacrificed to ‘compete’ with the global society.  As I began writing in the mid-1980s when US corporations began to outsource US workers to those of sweat shop countries, “burger flipper cannot afford $40K cars.”

Fortune 500 firms such as General Electric pay no US income taxes and were at the forefront of shipping US jobs overseas.  As our debt continues to climb, housing prices sink and few decent jobs are found, you might consider stocking up on Renminbi’s.

Yours for ‘living in America’, the Poor Man

Follow us on Facebook


Keep our services free, visit our sites…

Check our Resources

New self sufficiency books added weekly

A Shallow Planet Production