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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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