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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Scrapping metal for cash, Ignore the Police, Supermarket Survival

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
ISSN 2161-5543
A Free Press is the Guardian of a Free People
In This Issue:
1.       Recycle for profit with scrap metal
2.      Supermarket Survival Report
3.      Ignore the Police
4.      Free eBay Guides to Improve Sales
5.      Making Ends meet with phone sex

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. - James Bovard, Civil Libertarian

Making Ends Meet with Phone Sex?
According to a recent report, the number of mothers who have young children and work for phone-sex companies has risen 400 percent in the past 18 months because of the dismal economy.
Most of these women sound a little embarrassed by this fact says Chris Durst, who runs a website that helps mothers find ways to earn money at home. (Chris is the co-publisher of our favorite site:  They say, “I’ve tried everything (they must not be reading our Poor Man reports).  This is the fastest way for me to get my family back on its feet again.”
With 29% of Americans ’under water’ in their home mortgage, it’s not a shock to me.  According to a Swedish study, commuting can wreck your marriage.  Long commutes lead to poor health and can put a strain on marriages; so this kind of work might be the ’cure.’

Over the past year we’ve provided dozens of ways to earn extra money or to find a job.  Legitimate, work from home jobs remain the career path of choice for many, but such opportunities are littered with scams.  Nonetheless, finding a good job of any sort has become a challenge in America. 
Streamlining job searches online will help pinpoint opportunities which are right for you.  Most job-specific sites offer email updates that will keep you abreast of industry offerings.  For example, if you’re a teacher, go to or  If you’re interested in working for a non-profit group, try
Looking for an IT job, consider or  Want a writing job?  Look at sites such as or
 Making ends meet in this economy can be tough, especially when unexpected expenses pop up, especially from various government agencies which seem to increasing their fees to the taxpayer, usually, unannounced.

Duct tape was developed in 1942 for use by the U.S. Army as a waterproof sealing tape for ammunition boxes.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

Recycling Scrap Metal for Extra Cash

The Poor Man’s wife recycles sterling silver, which she frequently finds at thrift stores.  Occasionally, she’ll find gold jewelry too which is priced at below market rates.  Recently, we sold one pound of scrap sterling silver for $350; our cost was less than $25.
We took a bunch of metal which in the past, we’d have trashed, to our local scrap recycler and made another $25.
 The first thing to find out when you start making money with scrap metal is where your nearest scrap metal yard is. You will probably find you have one quite nearby and it only takes a short amount of time to either give them a call or drive by to have a chat and find out what they take and how much they would pay you for it. Keep in mind prices fluctuate and as I write this, brass, copper and bronze are bringing good money.
 The easiest place to start is at home, believe it or not. Have you got any old tire rims off your old car that are filling up the garage and not serving any real purpose? There’s your first item right there. How about old grill bits from that broken barbeque?  Some of the more popular metals sold as scrap include:
- Aluminum
- Iron
- Copper
- Brass
- Platinum
- Bronze
- Stainless Steel
Metal prices vary on the type of metal and of course, supply and demand. Metals such as iron can earn you up to $0.10 per lb, while copper can get you upwards of over $2.00 per lb. Keep an eye on the market and call and ask your scrap dealer for current prices. Don’t forget, many of these dealers also purchase used batteries from autos and RVs.  Many dealers may even advertise their paying price on their websites.

Use the chipping test. Use a chisel to remove a small piece of the metal and examine the resulting chip. Gray cast-iron chips are smooth and brittle. Cast steel chips easily, and the chips can be continuous if desired. Aluminum chips are continuous but leave a saw edge. White cast iron is brittle and breaks into small fragments. Malleable iron produces rough chips. High-carbon steel is a lighter color at edges than mild steel, and the chips can be continuous.  A magnet won’t stick to brass or bronze.

Current Scrap Price Resource Sites

How to Videos

Metal Testing Site-A quick guide to determining types of metal

How to Manual - Free PDF

Thanks to Lapeer Recycling for their courteous service and explanations!

Supermarket Survival: Ruthlessly Slashing Your Grocery Bills In Half. By applying the information in this report, you can free up literally hundreds of dollars every month… and best of all, it won’t cost you a dime to access this information!

This free report is not just a collection of the same old recycled tips you read in magazines. And it doesn’t require you to perform outrageous, time-consuming stunts like “extreme couponing.” It’s a comprehensive five-part strategy that anyone can use — and when you do, it will save you thousands of dollars a year on food. Apply any one of the five parts and you’ll save money. Put them all together, and you’ll be astonished at how little you’re spending on food.
In this free, eye-opening report, you'll discover 29 pages of savings. Free of charge. Simply
click here to download it.

 eBay Sellers - Get Ready for the New Year With Free Guides

- 2012 Retail Calendar - all holidays, trends, seasonal events
- Grow Your eBay Business with a SWOT Analysis
(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
- How to Stand Out on eBay
And more.

Ignore The Police!
There are some situations where it is legal to ignore police officers. Learn about some of those situations to avoid unwanted police encounters.

 Smashed bugs on your bumper or grill are a pain.  Nonstick cooking spray will help remove them - simply spray on and wipe.

The Nanny State Updates…
Americans are getting dumber…no wonder we no longer compete internationally
According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, between 21% and 23% of adult Americans were not “able to locate information in TEXT” and could not make low level inferences using printed materials.
Wikipedia suggests the best estimate for FULL literacy in the USA (equivalent to undergraduate level functioning) is only about 15% of population. 15%! (The average adult reads at a 7th or 8th grade level).

Avoid Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras are unavoidable...almost. There are some clever ways to prevent being recognized or even showing up at all on surveillance cameras.
For instance:  Red light cameras and speed enforcement cameras are a big part of the problem. These cash machines are not intended to, and do not increase safety. In many cases they are not properly calibrated or there is a malfunction in the unit capturing innocent people in the crosshairs. In order to avoid being captured improperly, people can first avoid the cameras altogether by knowing what streets and highways to avoid. In the US, has a great list of these camera systems throughout the country.

 Clean accumulated sediment from narrow-neck vases by putting grains of rice inside and shake until the gunk loosens.

The Parting Thought – Congress is a cesspool of unethical behavior

On September 16, 2008 Paulson and Bernanke held "closed door meetings" with members of Congress and warned them that the financial system was about to totally collapse.
 But instead of racing out to save the financial system, author Peter Schweizer says that many of our representatives in Congress raced out to save their stock portfolios.
In his new book, Schweizer alleges the following....

*Schweizer says that U.S. Senator Dick Durbin sold $74,715 worth of stock on September 17th and $42,000 worth of stock on September 18th.
*Schweizer says that U.S. Representative Jim Moran sold off shares in 90 different corporations on September 17th.
*Schweizer says that U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sold off at least $250,000 worth of stock between September 18th and September 24th.
*Schweizer says that U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus bet very heavily against the stock market in the days following the September 16th meeting and made tens of thousands of dollars doing so.
*Schweizer says that U.S. Senator John Kerry bought up approximately $350,000 of Bank of America stock and approximately $550,000 of Citigroup stock during October 2008 and November of 2008. It was during this time period that the bailout programs for the big banks were being developed and debated.

Over the past couple of decades, the "wealth gap" between members of Congress and average Americans has grown to ridiculous proportions. Things have gotten so bad that now even the New York Times is reporting on these things....
"Largely insulated from the country’s economic downturn since 2008, members of Congress — many of them among the “1 percenters” denounced by Occupy Wall Street protesters — have gotten much richer even as most of the country has become much poorer in the last six years"

The Poor Man has been reporting on these unethical shenanigans for several years.  Congress has become a cesspool with no regard for the American public - the only thing which seems to matter is their reelection campaign.

 “Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man
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A Shallow Planet Production

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Put More Jingle in Your Pocket, Real Hangover Cures, More...

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

A Free Press is the Guardian of a Free People

In This Issue:

1.       Now is the time to shop for Christmas

2.      13 Smart Money Moves to do before end of the year

3.      Resources to put more jingle in your pocket

4.      Emergency water pump for your well, best hangover cures

5.      Growth of spy technology used against US citizens

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. - Edward Langley, Artist

Now’s the time to shop for “Christmas”

Many of us get gifts we don’t like, can’t use or don’t want.  If you donate them to a qualified charity before the end of the month, you might qualify for a tax deduction.  (I say might every year we donate as much as $5000 worth of goods and it never seems to be enough to qualify - For the most, we now toss the charitable donation receipts).

If you didn’t get what you wanted from Santa, now is the real time to shop.  If you return an item for cash or store credit, you might want to hurry though.  Many stores have limited time return dates and most require original packaging as some places have a ‘re-stocking’ fee in place if the packaging is missing.

Now is also the time to grab discounted gift cards from popular stores which have been ‘recycled’ and are sometimes available at 40% discounts.  Due to high demand, they go quickly.  Get first crack by signing up for email alerts at sites such as or

Just like after Halloween sales, many supermarkets offer deep discounts on Christmas themed items including candy, baking goods, soap, candles, tissues and more. Now is also the time to buy holiday greeting cards (yes, we still hand write and mail real cards, not e-cards) as most are marked down at least 50% and can be used next year.

EBay is another place to look for finding treasures.  Sellers load up with unwanted gifts or to sell used items those gifts replaced - everything from cameras and other electronics to sporting goods, jewelry and clothing.

As an FYI, if you’ve been looking for a flat-screened TV and missed those super Black Friday sales, late January and early February will be the time to grab some bargains according the Consumer experts…retailers will be making room for new inventory which will be featuring TVs with new features such as 3-D imaging.  Now, if only the networks would air programs worth watching!

Cremation is now chosen over burial in 41 percent of Americans - up 15% from 25 years ago.  Average cost is only $1500 vs. $10,000 for a traditional casket and service.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

13 Smart Things to Do Before Year End
Maybe you've been putting off these tasks, or maybe they haven't occurred to you. Before the new year, you can take out this whole list doing just one thing every couple of days and save both time and money next year.
Read more.

Living Better on Less…Plus Put Some After Holiday Jingle in Your Pocket

Did the holiday leave your wallet on empty?  Consider these sources for savings.

Product Testing to Get Freebies

Companies want your opinion of their new offerings.  Give you’re your thoughts and snag a free goods… - Online community of Moms, take short surveys and get online newsletters with offers for new product testing. - Answer polls to assist brands understand your interests and they send free products to you to test; earn additional points by sharing your opinions with others. - Test new products, offer feedback on discussion boards and get deals from popular manufacturers.

Online Jobs that really pay

Virtual Assistant - If you have excellent administrative experience and organizational skills you can expect to earn $10 to $20 an hour by working directly with clients.  Here are a few sites to review:

Call Center Employee - Many businesses now outsource their customer service departments via virtual call centers.  Training and scripts are provided at these sites:

Interview Transcriber - Journalists and writers conduct hundreds of interviews and have little time to transcribe them.  This task is easily handled over the internet with digital voice files.  There are many services which will connect you.

Give Fashion Advice and Get Paid for it

This site allows you to share your fashion finds by creating your own free virtual store of clothing and accessories you recommend.  You get a 10% commission on purchases which you’ve suggested.  No cost.

When unemployment meets frugal spending you get internet sites offering a happy median for both. If you need to make extra money and the traditional job hunt isn't working, then consider one of these 6 websites that offer more of a non-traditional approach to making money. I must warn you, some of the sites require you to be a bit on the creative side, be open-minded, and at times have a good sense of humor

Googling ‘work-at-home’ when searching for job listings often produce a lot of scams.  Instead, try ‘home office‘, ’virtual employee,’ ’remote office,’ or ’online work.’

If the water source is not chlorinated, household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) should be added. Regular, unscented bleach is best but brand does not matter. No bleach needs to be added if you are storing chlorinated water from a public water supply.  (Good product to have on hand if your electric pump goes out).

Beat Holiday Hangover Cures

The older our family gets, the less alcohol we seem to consume.  By comparison, as younger men if one of us went missing, they’d put our picture on a bottle of scotch!  Here are some recommend treatments for hangovers.

>Use ibuprofen - don’t use drugs with acetaminophen (Tylenol) as it can contribute to liver damage when mixed with booze.

>Drink a glass of water, then another in an hour.  Fluids help move the booze out of your system faster; the more dehydrated you are, the worse the hangover symptoms.

>Walk briskly - it will increase the blood flow to your liver and kidneys.

>Pop a B-100 supplement - alcohol robs your system of this vitamin so take the supplement for you start drinking and the morning after.

Forget consuming lots of coffee or having another drink on the morning after…doesn’t work!

Send your old greeting cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, which turns them into new cards and sells them for charity.  Details at:

The Nanny State Updates…

Local Cops ready for war - Squandering your tax dollars

“There’s no terrorism here…militarization of police is an expensive boondoggle”

Nestled amid plains so flat the locals joke you can watch your dog run away for miles, Fargo treasures its placid lifestyle, seldom pierced by the mayhem and violence common in other urban communities. North Dakota’s largest city has averaged fewer than two homicides a year since 2005, and there’s not been a single international terrorism prosecution in the last decade.

But that hasn’t stopped authorities in Fargo and its surrounding county from going on an $8 million buying spree to arm police officers with the sort of gear once reserved only for soldiers fighting foreign wars.

Every city squad car is equipped today with a military-style assault rifle, and officers can don Kevlar helmets able to withstand incoming fire from battlefield-grade ammunition. And for that epic confrontation—if it ever occurs—officers can now summon a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret. For now, though, the menacing truck is used mostly for training and appearances at the annual city picnic, where it’s been parked near the children’s bounce house.  More at:

The average American household will have spent an astounding $4,155 on gasoline by the time the year is over.

 The Parting Thought – Welcome to 1984 Amerika

The Growth of Spy Technology against US citizens

"You need two things for a dictatorship to survive – propaganda and secret police," said Representative Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), in a report by the Washington Post.

A whole lot of technology companies are working for Uncle Sam. And, to the extent these advances are being turned inward against the American people.

Even a high-ranking Obama administration official acknowledges the use of spy technology against the masses:

"We are seeing a growing number of repressive regimes get hold of the latest, greatest Western technologies and use them to spy on their own citizens for the purpose of quashing peaceful political dissent or even information that would allow citizens to know what is happening in their communities," says assistant secretary of state for human rights Michael Posner in a recent speech.

Of course, Mr. Posner failed to mention that the most widespread use of government-sponsored spy cams against residents of Western democracies is right here in America!

Back in 2002, at the first Intelligent Support Systems World Conference (aka The Wiretappers' Ball), only 35 people attended. Today, this closed, by-invitation-only event hosts five conferences worldwide and attracts hundreds of vendors, thousands of buyers, and sells an estimated $5 billion in surveillance gear to government agencies, both foreign and domestic. These events are not open to the public.

According to reports from the Washington Post and Wikileaks, the products for sale include, but are not limited to:

Technology that allow governments to track hundreds of cellphones at once;

E-mail interceptors that read e-mails by the tens of thousands;

Programs that make an owner's own computer take a picture of him or her and send the image to government goons – or anyone else;

Programs that send phony updates for iTunes, Adobe Acrobat, and other popular programs in order to infiltrate personal computers, much like a virus or malware;

A suitcase-sized device capable of monitoring Web traffic from public WiFi hotspots such at cafes, airports, and hotels;

Bogus cellphone towers that let government employees track phones up to three miles away and listen to calls;

When power-hungry bureaucrats get an inch, they demand entitlement to the whole mile.

There are a number of cases involving law enforcement abusing surveillance technology, such as GPS and cellphone tracking without a warrant.

 One of my close associates has spent many hours inside a municipal communication center that processes 9-1-1 calls and dispatches police, fire, and ambulance calls for several communities. These "comm centers" are the central nervous systems of local law enforcement and are frequently staffed by retired, disabled, or off-duty police officers. They are loaded up with many types of advanced technology.

Guilty until proven innocent. Already, the feds have expanded the propaganda campaign to be suspicious of everyone. In a past newsltters, I touched on how a financial transaction of only a few thousand dollars can get you written up on a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) by your bank, insurance agent, or broker and get you logged into a government database of suspicious individuals. This snitching culture is further expanded with the Department of Homeland Security's "See Something, Say Something" campaign. In effect, the government asks ordinary citizens to act as secret police and snitch on their neighbors for no reason except suspicion.

 Restricted speech "zones." These are quarantined areas where the Bill of Rights has been effectively amended to read, Void Where Prohibited by Law. Restricted speech zones came into expanded in use during the Bush administration, restricting public protestors to voice their opinions in a physically enclosed and dedicated area. Today, many U.S. colleges have these "speech zones" painted directly onto campus quads; conditioning America's future generations to accept that free speech isn't truly free

Freedom of speech on the Internet is not inviolate either. The government has been looking for ways to censor the Internet and recent battles over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), modeled after China's Internet censorship policies, may help give feds an Internet "kill switch," according to many legal analysts.

Two bills currently going through Congress, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, would give the U.S. government the ability to shut down literally millions of websites (which they have already done).

These bills are incredibly dangerous and could change the way that the Internet operates forever.

The following is from a piece that Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently authored about these new bills....

"Imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress -- SOPA and PIPA -- give the U.S. government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial)"

Peaceful Protest, a fundamental right, is also under attack

Being able to engage in peaceful protests is one of the most important rights that the First Amendment protects. But in recent years that right has been under attack like never before. A recent article  detailed some of the violence that law enforcement authorities have used against protesters in 2011....

In recent weeks, we have seen law enforcement authorities brutally dragging female protesters to the ground by their hair. We have also seen them use pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang stun grenades against protesters. If this is how protesters are going to be dealt with from now in America, then we have completely lost the moral high ground. How will we ever get other nations to take us seriously when we criticize their brutality against protesters when we are so brutal ourselves?

The government loves subterfuge by always giving these freedom bashing ACTS benevolent sounding titles.

Sources:  Lee Bellenger, The Economic Collapse, ABC News, PoorManSurvival

  “Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man

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New self sufficiency books added weekly

A Shallow Planet Production