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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Homesteading on the Cheap, PrePaid Calling Cards for Privacy

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
A Digest of urban survival resources
ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:
1.       Travel Trailer homesteading for $5000
2.      More ways to protect privacy w/ pre-paid gift cards
3.      Hunter Safety resource
4.      UHT Milk – Stores for six months

At the start of this nation’s unique experiment with individual sovereignty and limited government, “Taxation without representation is tyranny” was the watchword of the American Revolution. For our Founding Fathers, a level of taxation of only a few cents on a dollar, siphoned off to a faraway and arrogant bureaucracy, was enough to ignite a revolution enough to grab the trusty musket off the wall. Today, in contrast, if we dare to startle the more panicky among us by buying a good rabbit gun, the government’s there at the cash register to check our papers and seize $46 on every $100."
-- Ralph Reiland
Professor of Economics, Robert Morris College
Celebrating Independence Day

   Like many others in this country, the Poor Man rags on our government and the train wreck course it has pursued over the past few decades.  That doesn’t mean we don’t love our country or honor its founders, quite the opposite.  We wish we could resurrect men like Washington, Adams, Franklin, Jefferson and others to see what became of their ideal.

Despite losing so much ground nationally and internationally, despite the plundering of our money system, despite a growing host of repressive, anti-citizen laws and lack of common sense and despite the fact we haven’t had any REAL leaders in Washington for decades…I am optimistic.

Congress has been full of charlatans who have prostituted themselves for money to the special interests on Wall Street and in recent years, other governments…all at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Most of us still believe in the ‘American Way” and the ideals of freedom, even if our leaders have forgotten.  Most of us still help our neighbor when they’re down.  Most of us still try to teach our children what is right.

One ingredient that made our country great was immigration.  Our nation is a blend of cultures, most of which took one generation to assimilate.  Many of today’s immigrants, both legal and illegal, do not seem to assimilate, keeping to themselves and often, not respecting the rest of America.  Indeed, bashing America has become the favorite pastime of left wing liberals and many immigrant groups.

It may take another revolution to restore our country and return it to the Land of the Free and to its former prosperity.  The nightly news recently made a big splash about immigrants who were newly sworn in as US citizens.  Yes, we’re still a beacon to many but in recent years more people have left the country than have come here.  America has lost its place in so many categories that matter…economics and innovation, quality of life, education, and so on.

Many of the freedoms fought for and guaranteed us under the Bill of Rights have come under attack in recent years, especially with the creation of the anti-citizen (un)Patriot Act.  Your right to financial privacy and home invasion (the 4th Amendment) are now virtually meaningless.

With every new government program, law, and regulation that comes into being, our own personal sense of responsibility diminishes. The corollary of freedom is responsibility. And it’s moving out of vogue too.

Read more:
‘Government’ Has Little to do With Independence

Over the coming holiday, I invite you to think long and hard about what freedom means and how we can restore it. Start by reading a few books about our founders, especially Jefferson and Adams. I wish you a fruitful 4th of July.

Keep your air conditioner running smoothly by hosing it off.  A/C constantly sucks in air and debris which makes it work harder and remember to change your in-house filters too.
Pm’s Betty Shocker Compendium of Useful Resources

Travel Trailer Homesteading for Under $5000

As the Poor Man has discovered, even a little homestead and cabin can prove to be an expensive proposition.  Although we did a fair amount of work ourselves, lumber and supplies are expensive.  Local building inspection fees really added to the cost and delays.

We finally got our well and septic system hooked up but are experiencing some challenges with the water pressure.  We called in a professional well guy and he installed a deep well pump which was twice the price I could have picked one up for; of course, he never contacted me first to see if I wanted the work done but that’s another story.

We put up a 10x12 shed in addition to our barn and what will be our rabbit hutch (we plan to have ducks and rabbits for our meat and egg supply).  We had purchased a small mobile home for additional living quarters but the local inspector (Commissar) made us get rid of it because it was too old and too small…another big loss for our budget.
I suppose if you live far enough away from the communists who run many communities, you won’t have to worry about what you can or cannot place on your OWN property.  We learned after-the-fact that if we had left the wheels on the mobile, there would have been nothing the inspector could have done.
If you’re tired of the rat race and paying either rent or a mortgage, this might prove a good way to go.  In either case, despite the Great Recession, rural property prices are still high in many areas of the country.
In some cases, the foundation (if you choose that route) might be more expensive than the actual home. Your choice of utilities will be another big factor in costs.
In most rural areas of the country the cheapest, quickest means of a homestead is a used trailer.  They are easy enough to transform into an off-grid homestead complete with solar and composting toilet.  Building a “roof over the roof” with front porch addition can make it into a nice livable home.  That’s what we had in AZ and never had a local bureaucrat bother us!  Below you’ll find a link to a popular book which gives even more insight to creating a mobile homestead.  You can find this on Amazon and elsewhere.

Related:  DIY Underground Bunker at:
Stop bee stings by covering your beverages when eating outdoors.  They like the sweetness so keep the cups covered.

Hunter Education: Now's the Time to Enroll
If you're planning to hunt this fall and have never purchased a hunting license, you must pass a hunter education course before you're able to acquire your license. This may also apply if you have not purchased a hunting license recently. Check with your state agency. Since hunter-ed classes fill up early, now is the time to enroll. You'll learn about safety in the field, state hunting regulations and seasons and resources to make your day afield more successful. Convenient online hunter education courses are available for some states, too.
Enrich your garden soil by adding over ripe bananas or badly bruised apples or other inedible vegetables in the hole before you plant.

End Unwanted mail by going to this site - remove your name

Did you know - UHT milk lasts six months!  Usually found in single serve six-packs in the juice aisle.  Good for longer term storage.
Reader Comment:
You’re so right about China (previous issue) and Americans are stupid to buy as much as they do from that country.  We took my mother-in-law to Hobby Lobby where nothing is made in America (the manager confirmed this).  People were in long lines shelling out money for over priced crap…
Clever Finds Launches Family-Friendly Daily Deal Website and Search for First Spokesfamily
Clever Finds (, a crowd-sourced family-friendly daily deal website, officially launched today. Clever Finds provides family-friendly deals from favorite neighborhood merchants and recommendations from local insiders. In addition to connecting local businesses and local customers, Clever Finds facilitates fundraising by donating ten percent of sales.
David Sturtz, CEO of, an auto-repair information Web site, knows exactly what makes a top-notch repair shop. He tells how to spot one -- and warns about three costly and unnecessary procedures that, if they are ever recommended by any shop, should make you head for the door!ales to community schools and organizations.
Insects splatter your windshield?  Wipe them away using a moistened dryer sheet!  Good for cleaning TV and computer monitor screens too.
The Nanny State Updates…

By Mike Brownfield
There’s urgency in Washington to fix a problem that’s been a long time coming: America’s fast track to fiscal implosion. In The Heritage Foundation’s just-released, expanded 2011 Budget Chart Book, you can see just how bad the country’s spending problem is and how America racked up so much debt.
Congress is coming to grips with the need to enact reform, in part because there’s a new breed of Tea Party conservatives making their voices heard on Capitol Hill and also because the government has reached the legal limit on how much it can borrow. The Washington Post reports this morning that it’s crunch time in Washington, with legislators and the White House working to find a way to cut $2 trillion from the federal budget by 2021.

Police have classified a CA high school yearbook as pornographic
The Big Bear H.S. yearbook includes a photo taken at a dance, in which a 17-year-old boy can be seen groping a 15-year-old girl - even though it’s not the intended focus of the photo.  Police say it depicts sexual activity by a minor and recalled all of the yearbooks with a warning that possession could lead to prosecution.

More stupid government stunts - in Portland, OR, the Water Bureau drained a reservoir of 7.8 million gallons of drinking water after a 21-year-old man urinated into it. 

Another tip to lower your A/C bill…shower or do laundry in the early morning or late evening.  Raising the humidity in your home during the hottest part of the day makes you’re A/C work harder as if the outside temps had gone up 10 degrees.
The Parting Shot – More Ways to protect yourself
Prepaid Calling Cards – Keep your calls and contacts private.
It's rude to eavesdrop on someone else's conversation. Unfortunately, bureaucrats feel it's their obligation to protect everyone from everything and the best way to do it is listening to your telephone pillow talk with a loved one. Today, most calling-card traffic is run on separate digital networks outside the traditional telephone networks. The calls are also often encrypted, which gives you a level of privacy and helps ensure call quality.
But, you should be careful using PIN-less calling cards, or reusing or
recharging the same calling card over and over again.

Each calling card company has its own data collection and storage policies which could undermine your privacy. Also each calling card has a unique ID number associated with it. "As you made phone calls against that card, they'd get recorded in a database someplace," says privacy expert Richard Ellis Smith. This information could be used to track both the phone number you're calling from and the number you're dialing.

To shrink your exposure and give you some distance from snoops and eavesdroppers, buy disposable prepaid calling cards with cash, or prepaid gift cards. This allows you to unlink your voice communications because new cards are bought to replace old ones when they run out of minutes and in the process different calls are placed through unique calling cards.

Buy prepaid Visa, MasterCard, and American Express GIFT Cards: Just like cash but more convenient for today's digital world.

Using the "real" thing – a debit or credit card – creates a long paper (and electronic) trail that can be picked up and exploited by crooks and other busybodies. These little pieces of plastic act as small portals to your banking accounts. If compromised, it's like throwing a steel nut into the gears of your fine-tuned financial machine.

To lessen this vulnerability and function outside the banking system without sacrificing your access to electronic commerce, the Visa, MasterCard, or American Express prepaid GIFT cards are extremely handy.

Pre-paid cards work just like store gift cards you may have used from Starbucks, Target, or Apple. These are, however, much more practical because they're accepted anywhere Visa, MasterCard, or American Express are accepted – both in stores and online (but not ATMs).
These gift cards are NOT rechargeable. When you initially buy one, you choose the amount to put on the card – anywhere from $20 to $500. If you have an account with KeyBank, you can purchase a MasterCard Gift Card and put up to $2,500 on it.
The cards have expiration dates, but the remaining balance doesn't expire. Before the expiration date, simply call the provider to issue a replacement gift card. Because it's a gift card to give away, you can register the card in any name and address you want. Registration is not required, especially if you only plan to use it in person where you "swipe and sign."

However, registering the card allows you to use it online (and perhaps gas stations) since many online merchants need to verify name and address to process the purchase. Also, if you want to replace the card due to loss or theft, it needs to be registered beforehand. The problem here is, registering the card eliminates some of the privacy advantage of using these cards
Source:  Lee Bellinger’s Executive Bulletin website.
That’s all of the news you can use for this issue…happy sailing, The Poor Man
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