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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to Become a Consumer Rebel

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.       Become a Consumer Rebel

2.      Find freebies, good deals on eyewear and more

3.      Do some good-donate baby clothes and wedding dresses

4.      Find recalls and get your money back

5.      How about living without money for 15 years?

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced."
Frank Zappa

Become a Consumer Rebel - The unConsumer

The economy is based on consumption, exemplified by non-stop newscasts every holiday season about nervous retailers fears of ‘did we spend enough, did we break last year’s records, did Americans go deeper into debt to buy stuff that will wind up in next year’s garage sale?

Obviously, we need to make purchases, many of our own jobs depend on that.

The problem is how most Americans are being nickel and dimed by such merchants as banks, cable companies, cell phone companies, insurance companies and every other hooligan who financially hoodwinks us with non-stop fees, surcharges and higher rates.

Of course, the biggest pirate is the government at every level.  They nickel and dime us on everything including phone bills, water bills, electric bills, heating bills, fuel fees, license tag fees, sales taxes and more.  There are so many hidden government fees (in reality, a tax) that most no longer question this form of theft.

Some steps to consider:

>Dump all unnecessary services such as cable TV, multiple cell phones, land lines, etc.

>Switch your banking to a community credit union

>Stop buying Chinese made goods wherever possible.

>Support local merchants and tradesmen instead of Fortune 500 firms such as GE (the pioneering leader in off-shoring US jobs).

>Grow your own produce, make your own snacks and desserts

>Review all insurance programs annually and switch whenever possible.

>Use co-ops wherever possible or create one of your own*

>Reuse, recycle, re-gift consumer goods; Make your own cleaning supplies

>Shop flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores

>Become as energy independent as possible - use a well (shower with a friend), solar and wind turbine systems, geothermal, ride a bike or use public transportation, etc.

*Self Organizing Collective - adaptiveness of self-organized systems, i.e. their ability to "reorganize" in order to adapt to a changing environment.

Small communities of people, usually 3 to 5 families, which have gathered together to form a self-sustaining and self-contained community. They support each other with talents, resources, and experience, that individually they don’t have. They share in the various chores that are for the good of the community as their talents and resources permit. This allows for a fuller and more secure living arrangement for all, with fewer resources and aid requirements from outside sources needed to maintain a reasonable lifestyle.

Please share this with others…you’ll find resources to accomplish this at our site:

Surprising foods to skip if you want to lose weight…Sweetened yogurt, granola, dried fruit, including raisins and orange juice.  All are high in calories and/or sugar.  Example:  one cup of raisins has 460 calories while the same of grapes has only 60!

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

Grandmother Lives Without Money for 15 Years

In response to our previous issue asking if you “Can live without money for 30-days” One of our readers suggested this useful site.

Good Site for Finding Freebies, Coupons & Deals

Bargain hunters seem to flock to this site.  Worth a look-see at:

Find a Good Deal on Eyewear

If you know your prescription, you can save 100s by looking at these two sites:

On March 31st, the FDA is scheduled to announce if it will ban BPA from all food packaging, not just baby bottles.

Do Good with Your Old Clothes

Brides against Breast Cancer organizes sales of used wedding gowns and uses the proceeds to grant wishes to cancer patients.

Helping babies…this group takes baby clothes in good condition or that have never been worn and distributes them to needy families.

Ditch those online selling site fees like eBay

I’m always amazed at high my monthly fees to eBay are…really cuts into the profits.

This site has no fee to list and charges a 3.5 transaction fee when an item sells.

Here’s a site for crafters to explore…no selling fees whatsoever:

How to Find Refunds on items which have been recalled

Each year 100s of products are recalled by the manufacturer and you can get a full refund.  Usually, the amount refunded is what the item is currently selling for which may not be the price you paid originally.

If your bed is chilly, skip that extra blanket in favor of a newspaper. Newspaper is the best free insulation in the world - Simply insert a paper between your mattress and box spring to heat your bed.

The Nanny State Updates…

Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress

The Orwellian dystopia of a constant surveillance society was once fictional…what’s happened to the Bill of Rights?

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's ... a drone, and it's watching you. That's what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.

Lack of government regulation on tracking data and its use is fairly unique to the United States. Some other countries require that the company provide a means for the customer to opt out of the web site's data tracking methods or, in some cases, even choose to allow it.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (which includes the U.S. Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act) prohibits people and companies from intercepting or accessing communications to which they are not a party. There are some exceptions for service providers as long as they use the information for the provision of services, but generally a company cannot collect data that was never directed to it. (This is why, e.g., Google got in trouble when its Google Street View vans intercepted and copied data transmitted over unsecured wireless Internet routers.)

The most important thing to remember is that you have complete control over what personal data you choose to provide to any given company. You do not have to post embarrassing photos to Facebook or shop for an erotic massager on Amazon. It's important to be aware of the trade you're making every time you willingly provide information with a company's web site.

Use an air-based popcorn popper and roast your own coffee beans at home.  The quality is often higher than at your local coffee shop and that home-roasted beans make great gifts. Among our favorite places to buy beans:

The Parting Thought – Oh those nasty libertarians…

Watch out Libertarians - You’re Now an Extremist

Now that NDAA is law, many of the basic tenets of freedom are under attack in the 21st century.

According to a Reuter's article published recently, the "FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists.""Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday." The article went on to say that: "These extremists, sometimes known as ‘sovereign citizens,' believe they can live outside any type of government authority.”

"Routine encounters with police can turn violent "at the drop of a hat," said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI's counterterrorism division." Yes, any wrong look or posture by any citizen can result in extreme violence against that innocent citizen by police. This is proven every single day around this country.

The NDAA gives the government, mainly the executive branch, Carte blanche power in its march toward rounding up any American that it deems as a threat to its false sovereignty. This power not only extends to the capture and detention of citizens, but the president also claims the power to assassinate any he chooses to on his say so alone.

According to recruitment propaganda handed out by the FBI and the Department of Justice to Internet cafe owners across the country, a person may be considered “suspicious” if they “are overly concerned about privacy” or if he/she “attempts to shield the screen from view of others.”

The Fed’s cheerfully-titled “Communities Against Terrorism” flyer series identifies 25 “threat areas” where you might encounter suspicious persons. These include such notorious ne’er-do- well hangouts as:

Dive/boat shops

Martial arts centers/Paintball

Hobby shops

Farm supply stores

Financial institutions

Electronics stores

Shopping malls


and, just to be on the safe side, The General Public

 “Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man

Remember, remember the 4th of November…

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1 comment:

MinimalistGroup said...

You're not kidding about this being 1984 America and most of the sheeple do not seem concerned. As long as they have football and beer, why bother?