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Saturday, October 29, 2011

101 Ways to Save on Holiday Spending, 4-H, TSA Nonsense

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.   Get your kids involved with 4-H

2.  101 Ways to Reduce Christmas spending

3.  Checking the solvency of your bank

4.  Your papers please…TSA Police State Expands

5.  Smooth Quailing

Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing?  --Samuel Goldwyn

4-H Good Group to Get Involved with…

   I grew up in the city and never heard of 4-H until I got married. (I was an ardent Junior Achievement participant as a teen)  My wife, a horse nut, was involved at an early age with 4-H and sings its praises.  4-H presents many opportunities for kids and adults alike.

If you have skills and talents you’d like to share, explore becoming a volunteer.  4-H offers more than 150 project areas such as foods and animal care to gardening, rocketry, home repair, crafts and bicycles…more than I would have ever imagined.

The 4-H movement began around the start of the 20th Century and revolutionized how science was taught outside the classroom -- through practical, hands-on programs and experiences. 4-H was also one of the first organizations in America that taught young people leadership skills and how to positively impact their communities

4-H prepares young people to step up to the challenges in their community and the world. Using research-based programming around positive youth development, 4-H youth get the hands-on real world experience they need to become leaders.

Through America’s 109 land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System, 4-H reaches every corner of our nation—from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. With a network of more than 6 million youth, 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.

Sweater boxes make great mini-composters for urban dwellers throughout the winter months…also good for storing garden tools.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

Check to see if your bank is in trouble…

You can never be too cautious, so first check the safety of your bank through Veribanc (800/44-BANKS). They provide ratings on all U.S. federally-insured financial institutions. Another source is Weiss Ratings, which includes a free list of the strongest- and weakest-rated banks in the nation.

101 frugal Christmas present ideas…

The Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll found that 13.6 million Americans are still juggling debt from last season after getting a little too into the gift-giving season.

Determined to spend less on Christmas gifts this year? Why not vow to spend nothing at all? If you start now, you can get all your Christmas gifts for free (really).

Ten Things to Do Instead of Black Friday

Another way to save this year…barter!

In today's shaky economic environment saving every dollar counts. One way we save a substantial amount of money is by bartering.  I frequently plug the idea of barter and use it extensively.

The first step to developing an informal community bartering system is to find out who your neighbors are and what needs and skills they have. We met most of our neighbors individually but a great way to do it is to throw a block party. Invite all the neighbors and get to know them. Later on, you can float the idea of ways you can help each other.  We feature plenty of barter ‘how-to’ at our site.  Go to:

Smooth Quailing

By Carolyn Evans-Dean

If you're looking for an easy livestock addition for your backyard or homestead, you need look no further than the Coturnix quail. They consume very little feed and require very little care to produce healthy, gourmet-quality eggs and meat for your family.

The recent surge in urban farming is shining a new light on these fabulous little birds, though they are equally suited to rural areas. First domesticated in Asia, quail belong to the family of birds called the Phasianidae that include chickens, pheasants and partridges.

Coturnix quail are gentle birds that come in many varieties and are easily raised in small spaces. Prized for their meat and egg production, they are considered to be fully grown at six weeks and begin to produce eggs at eight weeks. Unlike chicken roosters, the crow of a male quail is not as loud, nor does it carry as far. This makes the quail a neighbor-friendly choice, even for those living in the city. As with any livestock, you will want to check with your local zoning office and the state to determine if a special permit is required. In my home state of New York, it is illegal to raise or release domestic game birds without a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Out of masks when spray painting or facing other chemicals?  Use a coffee filter.

The Nanny State Updates…

EPIC has obtained, via a Freedom of Information Act request, documents
from the Department of Homeland Security about a secretive "pre-crime"
detection program

Under the "Future Attribute Screening Technology" (FAST) program, the
DHS will collect and retain a set of "physiological and behavioral
signals" from individuals at large-scale venues. According to a 2008
Privacy Impact Assessment prepared by the agency, the DHS intends to
monitor and collect data including "video images, audio recordings,
cardiovascular signals, pheromones, electrodermal activity, and
respiratory measurements," in order to attempt to determine perceived

According to the documents obtained by EPIC, Homeland Security is
considering the use of the device at conventions and sporting events.
The documents corroborate that a field test was conducted on the
public, as well as on DHS employee volunteers. DHS, however, failed to
comply with federal law when the agency neglected to do a privacy
impact assessment regarding the public testing


Got green tomatoes?  Pop them into a paper bag along with an already ripe apple or two.  They’ll ripen those green maters in a flash due its ethylene gas.

The Parting Thought – Your Papers Please!

TSA Police State Intensifies…per one of our readers.

We just returned from a trip from the Twin Cities to Phoenix, and then Dallas, and then home -- over 4,000 miles. We drove because I did not want to deal with the TSA in the airports. Well, guess what? I got stopped by the TSA in Texas. Yes, I didn't have to get out of my car, but I saw people asked to get out ahead of me.

"We are living in a police state, and it is getting worse!

Dispatch from Congressman Ron Paul:

"If you thought the 'Transportation Security Administration' would limit itself to conducting unconstitutional searches at airports, think again. The agency intends to assert jurisdiction over our nation's highways, waterways and railroads as well. TSA launched a new campaign of random checkpoints on Tennessee highways last week, complete with a sinister military-style acronym -- VIP(E)R -- as a name for the program.”

Houston airport recently… Every few minutes, this female voice would come over the public address system and tell everyone that any comments or jokes deemed inappropriate by TSA agents could result in detainment and formal charges

Alex Jones recently spoke with a fellow air passenger who was questioned by TSA agents. The man was a software engineer named Jeff. And he'd been stopped and questioned by TSA screeners about the $600 of silver coins he was carrying.

The screeners wanted to know if Jeff was collecting them as a hobby...or as an investment.

Jeff told them that he was simply planning to cash the coins in to use on his vacation, instead of dipping into his bank account. He was allowed to pass after the agents got to inspect the coins.

"You may be under the impression that gold or silver coins could be mixed in with regular coinage and transported without knowledge by screeners, but a post on the TSA blog regarding an incident in St. Louis in March 2009 indicates that TSA agents are on the lookout for travelers who possess precious metals, especially if 'suspicious activity is suspected.'

Finally…a ‘Headline’ note of humor:  In compromise, Republicans Allow Obama to Create One Part Time Job!

Yours for “what is happening to our freedom”, the Poor Man

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 A Shallow Planet Production

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When you lose power in winter, Fear Mongering, Entrepreneur Skills

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.   What to do when you lose power in winter

2.       Fear Mongering or Wag the Dog

3.       Save ammo by using dry fire techniques

4.       Coupon sites that give you alerts for items you want

5.       Develop your entrepreneurial ideas

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” --Thomas Jefferson

Innovation Nation - Develop your entrepreneurial skills

   Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I’m a firm believer that good jobs aren’t making a comeback anytime soon.  This is one of the reasons I promote the idea of starting your own business, even as a sideline.

Developing multiple family profit centers so you don’t rely on a single source of income is almost a necessity today.  Unlike previous generations of Americans, it’s a rarity to graduate college and find a career to work at for thirty years before retiring.  Hell, most US corporations no longer even offer pensions!

Do you have the next million dollar business idea?  I frequently read about folks who come up with ideas, implement them and make real money.  I’ll admit, some of the business ideas they come up with would never make money in my book, but then again, whoever thought people would pay $4 for a cup of coffee?

In our ever changing society, lucrative opportunities still exist for developing money making businesses…from senior care and errand services to taking care of foreclosed properties for banks and real estate firms.

In addition to free services such as the SBA and state economic development centers, here are a few resources worth checking out.  Always remember that if you don’t take a chance, you won’t have a chance.

>> - If you have a unique problem-solving idea, submit it to this site ($10 fee) and their users will vote on whether it’s a good idea.  If your idea is selected, the site will manufacture and sell the item with all the community members who help develop the idea.

>> - If you need funding to expand your business, post the idea along with how much revenue you will share and for how many years you will share it.

>> - Do you want to self-publish your first book or record a music album.  This site might just be the ticket.  Describe your project, set a financial goal and a timeline and then post it.  This will get the word out to potential donors.

Don’t forget our site - just click on the BootStrapBiz section to find even more ideas for creating a sideline or full time income.

Before filling clay pots with soil, soak them in a pail of water for an hour or two.  A dry pot wicks water away from the soil, so newly potted plant roots dry out quickly.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

 If you lose your power during a winter blast…

Not everyone likes a noisy generator, so - Now is the time to prepare for winter power outages.

Your first concern during a winter storm is keeping warm. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, you can use those... just make sure you have plenty of wood on hand and that it's stored somewhere where it will stay dry.

Another option is to purchase a low-cost propane heater that's safe to use indoors. You can pick up an indoor propane heater for less than $100. (Make sure you get a heater that is rated for indoor use. Outdoor heaters are not safe to use inside.) An indoor propane heater will keep a room of your house warm and comfortable, and today's models have built-in safety features (like an automatic shut-off system, should someone accidentally knock it over).

If you have a gas stove, you can use the burners during a power outage. Most gas stoves use an electric spark to strike the flame – no power, no electric spark. But, a match will do the trick.

If you have an electric stove, you can still prepare a hot meal for you and your family to enjoy if keep you a propane camp stove on hand. Just like your indoor propane heater, make sure you've got proper ventilation by opening a nearby window. A propane stove and a pot enables you to boil water, which you can use to make pasta, hot dogs, soup, rice, or oatmeal. Or, you can use the boiling water to prepare a freeze-dried camp meal.

Another great option is an outdoor gas grill, usually available at end-of-season discounts this time of year at any home center

Daylight Wasting Time is Upon us Again…does it pose a health danger?

A t 2:00 am on Sunday, November 6, 2011, the US officially switches from daylight saving time (DST) to standard time (ST) -- you "fall back" one hour. On March 11, 2012, the US switches from ST to DST -- you "spring forward" one hour.

Warning: These time changes can be dangerous to your health. Researchers looked at the rate of heart attacks around the time switches -- comparing the seven days right after the switches with the seven days two weeks before and two weeks after the switches...

Doug Koenig Demonstrates Proper Dry Practice

When champion shooter Doug Koenig goes to the range to practice, he might shoot a thousand rounds. But if you don't make your living shooting as Doug does, such sessions aren't really practical--it takes too much time and is too expensive. The next best thing? Dry practice allows you to do at home everything you would on the range, except for firing the gun. (That's why it's called dry practice.) Set-up your gear and work on your stance, sight picture, trigger pull and other handgun shooting skills at home. In this video

NOTE: offers many shooting resources and also a buy-sell program…worth getting on their email list.

Get free coupon alerts

Sign up and pick your favorite brands or product categories and you’ll be notified whenever new coupons are released at:

Free Price Watch Sites

Get alerts when the price is lowered via email.  For computers, TVs & cameras, try

For online retailers, use: or

Keep a magnet handy in your toolbox to quickly round up spilled screws and nails.

The Nanny State Updates…

Government owned and operated by Corporate America…

Back in 2002, the top 10 banks controlled 55 percent of all U.S. banking assets. Today, the top 10 banks control 77 percent of all U.S. banking assets.

The "too big to fail" banks just keep getting more and more powerful. For example, the "big six" U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo) now possess assets equivalent to approximately 60 percent of America's gross national product.

 Big corporations completely dominate our political system. Because they have so much wealth and power, corporations can exert an overwhelming amount of influence over our elections. Studies have shown that in federal elections the candidate that raises the most money wins about 90 percent of the time.

MSNBC, Dylan Ratigan made the following statement....

“The biggest contributor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is Goldman Sachs. The primary activities of this president relative to banking have been to protect the most lucrative aspect of that business, which is the dark market for credit default swaps and the like. That has been the explicit agenda of his Treasury Secretary. This president is advocating trade agreements that allow enhanced bank secrecy in Panama, enhanced murdering of union members in Colombia, and the refunding of North Korean slaves.”

In 2005, 7420 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year. In 2010, a whopping 82,034 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year. That is more than a tenfold increase in just five years.

The standard of living in the United States has fallen farther over the past three years than at any other time that has ever been recorded in U.S. history.

For a temporary roof repair, slide a piece of cardboard into a plastic bag and insert it under the shingles.

The Parting Thought – Wagging the dog

Social Control and the Politics of Fear Mongering

"The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering

 The requirement of every sovereign nation to exert control over the behavior of its citizens, to keep them orderly and reasonably docile….to keep them paying taxes, to keep them in line and we know that social control is best managed through fear.

For the past 50 years, Western nations have maintained their citizens in a perpetual state of fear.  The Communist menace, eco disasters, perpetual wars, terrorist attacks and so on.  Early on America was in the clutch of the military-industrial complex, foretold by retiring President Eisenhower.

Many now say we’re controlled by the politico-legal-media complex, kept in a perpetual state of fear.  This fear is needed by the media and politicians alike and by lawyers who need to litigate (at your expense)…all of which dilute our rights.

 Modern people live in abject fear. They are afraid of strangers, disease, crime and the environment. They are afraid of the homes they live in, the food they eat, the technology that surrounds them. They are in a particular panic over things they can't even see—germs, chemicals, additives, pollutants. They are timid, nervous, fretful, and depressed.

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski argues that the use of the term War on Terror was intended to generate a culture of fear deliberately because it "obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue".

In his 2004 BBC documentary film series, The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, the journalist Adam Curtis argues that politicians have used our fears to increase their power and control over society.

It’s evident there are many people whose livelihoods are dependent on fear…law enforcement, politicians, media and more.  A prepared person always has less to fear and it’s one of the driving forces behind our Poor Man efforts.  This was inspired by Michael Crichton’s book, State of Fear…and the movie, Wag the Dog.

Why does the dog wag its tail?
Because the dog is smarter than the tail.
If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.

Yours for freedom, the Poor Man.

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Keep our services free, visit our sites…

Check our Resources

New self sufficiency books added weekly

 A Shallow Planet Production