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Saturday, May 31, 2014

From One Panic to the Next

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed'
for wanting other people's money --
only for wanting to keep your own money."
-- Joseph Sobran


Stop Trying To Convince Yourself That
Everything Is "OK," It's Time To Step Up,
Learn The Truth And Get Ready.


Fear and loathing in the Republic…

The US economy is in the worst position it's ever experienced.

Money talks all right; but in these days, a dollar doesn't have enough cents to say anything worthwhile.

The US governments’ own data shows a net worth of minus $16.9 trillion, over 100% of GDP in the red.

And even in their most optimistic projections, the government tells us that growth in debt will outpace growth in tax revenue.

According to economist Peter Schiff, during 2013 and 2014 we are in store for a collapse even greater than what we saw in 2008 that will rock our economy to its very core.

While our Economy Heads South, So do our Rights & Freedoms

Anyone who reads my posts knows I often object to those who criticize our Constitution as a way of excusing their circumvention of civil liberties or the separation of powers. Some in the Bush Administration took that position in suggesting that our Constitution was somehow a contributor to the 9-11 attacks -- in their push to pass the un-Patriot Act. President Obama has taken up this ignoble claim to rationalize his repeated violation of the separation of powers in recent years. Now, Obama is privately telling donors that the problem is that the Framers got it wrong in their design of Congress and Article I of the Constitution.

Living in a free society means not having to look over your shoulder to see whether the government is watching or fearing that a government agent might perpetuate violence upon you.

Gee, I know most of us are pretty ‘dumb’ but what do you think the government is preparing for (and at our expense)?

For years the government has been stockpiling weapons, ammunition, riot gear and armored vehicles. Military personnel have been training in tandem with federal and local police using everything from fully armed helicopters to tanks across America’s major cities in what appears to be a hybridization of domestic law enforcement agencies

We are paying for government surveillance, body scanners, militarized police, roadside strip searches, SWAT team raids, drones, and other trappings of a police state, “we the people” do not live in a free society any longer.

I've been saying for years that federal economic policies, along with the Federal Reserve's monetary policies, are making the rich richer. They are also making the middle class and the working poor poorer. It's the great irony since these are the groups President Obama claims he is championing. 

I call it the Washington-Wall Street Cartel which is precisely what happens when special interests collude with politicians (and it is happening more and more at the state level too) to manipulate law while creating policies which are decimating the middle class.

In a recent New York Times article,
Economic Recovery Is Leaving Major Democratic Constituencies Behind, demonstrates how we know this very dynamic is occurring.

The article says, "Though broad measures of the economy are showing signs of improvement, a closer look at important indicators among individual groups reveals that voting blocs critical to Democrats in recent elections are not yet feeling the benefits."

Here are the metrics pointed out in the article…

  • For women, the unemployment rate is down from 8.1% to 5.7%. It says, "But while the number of women out of work appears to be much improved, the number of women employed compared with the total female population is 55.2 percent, actually worse than it was in 2010."

  • About 6.7 million people had multiple jobs in 2010. Now it's seven million.

  • Across the board, incomes have been declining. For those in the middle, they've gone down 4.26% between 2009 and 2012.

  • The "quit rate" is now a leading indicator of the health of the economy. It measures how willing people are to leave a job on their own or take risks. This number is down…

  • The article says, "Black women have seen no improvement in their employment rate." And Hispanic employment has only risen from 58.6% to 60.8%.

The kicker comes in the last two paragraphs when Jared Bernstein, a former economist for the Obama White House says, "Since the end of the recession, the gross domestic product has grown 11 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 is up 83 percent, corporate profits have swelled 53% - and median household income, in the most up-to-date numbers is down 4%."

If you’re like me and plenty of other Americans, your trust level of politicians ON ANY MATTER ranging from the erosion of our privacy and freedom to the lack of meaningful jobs, is at an all time low and for good reason(s).

Not only are we no longer a free people but we have become a fearful people, as well, helped along in large part by politicians eager to capitalize on our fears. As Julie Hanus wrote for Utne Reader:

“Since the 1980s, society at large has bolted frantically from one panic to the next.  Fear of crime reduced us to wrecks, but before long we were also howling about deadly diseases, drug abusers, online pedophiles, avian flu, teens gone wild, mad cows, anthrax, immigrants, environmental collapse, and—let us not forget—terrorists.”

Now,  thanks to an increasingly militarized police force and police officers who shoot first and ask questions later, we’ve got one more fear to add to that growing list, and with good reason: fear of the police—local, state and federal agents.

These days everyone is a domestic extremist and potential terror threat.

Today, few Americans seem to question anything our government does, no matter how illegal its actions. Many are simply fat, dumb and happy despite a shrinking paycheck and shrinking rights.

The solutions to surviving the war on the Middle Class can be found in our new e-book.

 Discover life-saving ways in which you can survive and prosper during The End of the Monetary System As We Know It. This is the information that your financial advisor, your doctor, your police precinct and your government hope you never discover…plus learn how food is your best investment!


Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?

A Shallow Planet Production

Friday, May 30, 2014

Credit & Data Secrets They Don't Want You to Know

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we can get…Spanish Proverb

Your Private data is bought and sold by business to marketers and to Big Brother…

 I gave up using credit cards or any kind of credit nearly a decade ago.  Paying cash for everything, including our mini-farm has made it a slower process to achieving what I want, but even without mortgages, car loans and other debt, it is tough enough to keep up with government mandated expenses such as taxes, fees, insurances, etc.

I don’t use so-called ‘Smart phones’ and other devices which allow companies and government to track me…call me old fashioned but I sleep better at night as a result!

We all leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs. Each credit card transaction, Google search, Facebook post — It’s all information that businesses can use to predict your behavior.


Analytics companies then tally up those predictions and give you a “consumer score.”

Data brokers even sell lists of rape victims and AIDS patients, other medical problems…

You likely know about your credit score -- that key measure that influences everything from your monthly car payment to your ability to buy a home. But there are dozens of other consumer scores that are impacting your daily life that you have no idea about.

Data brokers, analytics firms and retailers are creating hundreds of "secret" consumer scores that rank you on everything from the likelihood you will keep your job to how likely you are to commit fraud, according to a report released Wednesday by nonprofit World Privacy Forum.

Marketers, financial institutions, wireless phone service providers, law enforcement agencies and others use these scores to do everything from promoting new products to investigating crimes.

Yet, while these consumer scores are pervasive, most consumers don't know they exist. Rarely are they able to view their scores, find out how they are compiled or used or correct inaccuracies like they can on a credit report, the World Privacy Forum found.

Related: What information is the government buying about you?


Common Credit Misconceptions

Most of us aren’t clueless about credit scores, but we may be making costly mistakes. A recent annual survey by Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions about consumer credit knowledge found that a “large majority of Americans know a great deal about credit scores.”

But it also identified some common misconceptions about credit that often trip people up. Here are three of them.

1. How Inquiries Really Work

When someone requests your credit report, or a credit score generated from your credit report data, an inquiry is created on that credit report. Multiple recent inquiries may cause your credit scores to drop. But there are different types of inquiries, and some don’t affect your scores at all.

According to the credit knowledge survey, only 7% of respondents knew that multiple inquiries will not lower one’s FICO or VantageScore credit score if those inquiries are made during a one- to two-week window.

In the case of FICO scores, inquiries from auto loan, mortgage or student loan applications are counted as a single inquiry if they occur in a two-week or 45-day period (the exact time period depends on which version of the FICO model is used). In the case of the VantageScore, there is a rolling two-week period in which any inquiry of a specific type is counted as one. (Unlike the FICO model, this one also applies to credit card-related inquiries).


28 Credit Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know-Free from the Poor Man Survivor crew!


Who’s Looking at Your Credit Scores

In the credit knowledge survey, consumers were asked which of the following six types of businesses might use credit scores:

  • Credit card issuer
  • Mortgage lender
  • Landlord
  • Home insurer
  • Cellphone company
  • Electric utility

Only 18% of millennials, and 32% of older consumers, correctly identified the fact that all six of these businesses may check credit. While most consumers understand that credit card companies and mortgage lenders use credit scores, fewer understand that utility or cellphone companies may run credit checks, usually to determine whether prospective customers must pay a deposit. (Cable companies also check credit to decide whether to collect a deposit.)

3. The Money You Can Save With Good Credit

No doubt you’ve heard that a good credit score can save you money. But it’s easy to underestimate how large that amount can be.  More at:

Why does your credit score change so much…

If you monitor your credit score, you may be like this reader — scratching your head wondering why it changes so much.


Resources you might find useful…

Get Out of Debt, Get Prosperous, Get Independent



Your Personal Recordkeeper software from Nolo Press



Becoming a Chief Home Officer



Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?

A Shallow Planet Production

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Harvesting Rainwater & Other Money Saving Tips

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

"The minute you read something that you can't understand,
  you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer."

-- Will Rogers

Harvesting Rainwater

Harvesting Rainwater and Snowmelt Is Simple and Effective…

   Part of our winter repair and fix it projects on our mini-farm will include replacing a well bladder and filtration system which all suffered damage from this year’s extreme weather.  Clean water (and its high cost if through a city government utility) will increasingly become a national problem and today’s post is a repeat of one I wrote last year…

Harvesting rainwater is sustainable and provides many rural communities around the world with both domestic and potable water. It’s also something that’s been practiced for over 4,000 years.

Establishing a rain (or snow) water harvesting system can improve your self-reliance in good times and bad. It’s also a great way to cut costs and in most cases is more affordable than drilling or digging a well. In light of water shortages around world and a depreciating dollar, it can prove to be a prudent long-term investment.

And in a true crisis, a gallon jug of clean water or a SUPATANK will prove to be a fantastic barter item.

One warning: some areas have weird laws about who “owns” the rain and snowmelt, Colorado and Oregon being two examples. In Oregon, for instance, state law says all water belongs to the government, and if you want “to divert or store it, you have to acquire a water right from the state,” says Oregon Water Resources Department administrator Tom Paul.

A Basic Rain Harvesting System That Works!

A basic system is a relatively easy and quick way to get started. The main idea is to catch the rain as it runs off your roof and guide it into a container. Do not use water collected from a roof for human consumption unless you’ve sanitized it, but it’s great for watering your roses, your survival vegetable garden, and your fruit trees.

On a 1,000 square feet roof, a rudimentary collection system can yield about 623 gallons of water from 1 inch of rain. With this basic system and following proper water conservation methods (i.e. fixing leaks, drip irrigation, etc.), you could have enough water for your garden, washing your car, water for animals, and more.

At minimum you’ll need:

§  A sloped roof;

§  Rain gutters;

§  Downspout;

§  A filter to keep out or minimize debris such as leaves from clogging your system;

§  A container for the water, like a trash can or barrel (rainwater barrels run about $100 retail, but savvy  ‘Preppers’ look for discarded food barrels for a few bucks or even free);

§  Secure container cover or screen  so mosquitoes don’t breed in the water;

§  And a method to get the water in the container to where you need it. A pail, a hand or mechanical pump, or simply a gravity fed hose.

If you want to use your rainwater for drinking and cooking (and brushing your teeth), you’ll want to add a few important steps to your system, or hire an expert to do it for you. As you can guess, these steps involve better filtration and purification so it’s safe to drink.

In addition to the steps above, many who use rainwater for drinking also utilize:

§  A  Pre-Wash. The idea behind this step is to divert the first few gallons  of rain water that washes off the roof containing bird droppings, chemical   residue from pollution, sediment, etc., away from entering your water  container;

§  Ceramic  and Carbon Filters. High quality filters can remove inorganic  chemicals and many biological dangers.  Read the manufacturer’s labels for  details.

§  Purification.      These methods include reverse osmosis and/or Ultra Violet (UV) light to make certain even the smallest biological threats, like viruses, are dealt with. 

On-the-Go Ideas You Can Use in a Pinch…

Even if you’re not planning on using your rainwater for drinking, or if your electricity goes down and your home water filtration system, such as the UV light and reverse osmosis, gets knocked offline, you may want to have a few back-ups ready:

§  Take the extra steps to keep your rain catchment system clear of debris and sediment, and protected from mosquito infestation. Even if you only plan to use the water in your garden, this will save you a few important steps if you run into a situation where you need the water for survival.

§  It  may be handy to own one or more hand-held water purifiers, like the Katadyn, which is often sold for camping. You can also find gravity fed counter top versions, such as the Big Berkey, that can purify gallons of water without physical effort. Read the manufacturer’s labels for effectiveness information.

§  Boiling water can help kill many biological dangers, but may not help with all  chemical or radiological pollutants. You might consider using a solar oven to boil water and save on energy and fuel.

More useful tips and resources…

Rationing: Frugal Living Lessons from WWII
Life for women on the home-front during World War II was a challenge. The economic recessions we have had don't compare to what they had to go through. We can learn lessons from their experiences to help us to make it through hard times.

Compost Help

With the garden season starting, your thoughts may turn to your compost. Call your local coffee shop to see if you can get coffee grounds for your garden. Most are happy to give the grounds to you in the interest of recycling.  >>Toni


How home maintenance can save you money
read more here


Where's the Beef?
For many families, ground beef is a popular item on the weekly household menu plan. With the price increase, hamburgers and recipes that include hamburger are becoming somewhat of an indulgence. In order to serve ground beef without breaking the budget, you may need to explore ways to stretch a pound. Read more.

Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?

A Shallow Planet Production


8 Issues of Countryside & Small Stock Journal…Plus, find other homesteading magazine back issues at:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Home Cook's First Aid Kit

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543



Firing up the holiday grill!

“We must remember elections are short-term efforts.  Revolutions are long-term projects.” ~Ron Paul


   I’m sure most are winding down from a long holiday weekend.  The weather here was glorious and we got started on many repairs from the winter damage at our mini-farm.  It will prove more costly than I originally estimated but that seems par for the course.


On Monday we visited some area flea markets which were jammed with bargain hunters.  I was on a mission – find items to make necessary repairs and my prize of the day was a new Wagner power spray painter with case for $10!  They average $50-$69 at most retailers.


Then, like most folks, we grilled some steaks and I made one of our favorite side dishes, asparagus salad which I purchased from a flea market vendor.  (If you want the recipe, drop me a note)…


I’m willing to bet many of you might have gotten too much sun, perhaps too much beer and a burn or two from the grill.  Today’s issue will provide some tips on home first aid!


I also hoped you had the chance to honor any veterans in your family.  With the latest scandal on mistreatment of vets by our VA it should come as no surprise that we have fewer vets ‘serving’ in Congress than at any time in our history…I believe the number is less than 28% and it shows.



The Home Cook's First Aid Kit

 by Gina DeBacker


In many homes, the kitchen is where we spend the most time together. It’s where we transform simple ingredients into long meals around the table; educate ourselves and our families about cooking techniques, health and nutrition and it’s often the hub of gatherings and celebrations.


 With this fusion of people, food, heat and tools, minor emergencies are bound to happen from time to time. Keep everyone in your kitchen safer and happier with this home cook’s natural first-aid kit, and be ready to spring into action when minor burns, cuts, indigestion or stress threaten to dampen your family’s kitchen fun. 


Natural Remedies for Burns

After a minor kitchen burn, immediately run the skin under cool tap water for at least 10 minutes or until the pain diminishes. If you’re quick enough, you may prevent blistering. Do not apply ice to the burn, as it can further damage the tissue. If a blistering burn is larger than 3 inches in diameter, seek medical attention right away.


For smaller burns, turn to aloe. Aloe is the most well-known herbal remedy for burns, and for good reason — the gel from its leaves can cool the burn and work to prevent infection. Aloe is incredibly easy to grow indoors, and if you keep a small potted aloe plant on your kitchen windowsill, you’ll always have fresh gel available to treat minor burns. You can also apply a cool, wet chamomile tea bag to the burn for relief, or a green tea bag to promote healing. Applying honey to small, superficial burns may relieve pain and possibly infection. To further promote healing once the burned area has begun to heal, apply vitamin E oil and cover it with an adhesive bandage.


Natural Remedies for Minor Cuts

If a chopping mishap results in a minor cut, apply direct pressure to the area with a clean cloth for 20 to 30 minutes until the flow of blood stops. If possible, elevate the injury and avoid repeatedly checking to see if it’s stopped bleeding, as that may prolong the clotting process. Clean the wound with clear water; soap and a washcloth may be used for the area around the injury.


 After rinsing the wound, dilute a few drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil — two natural antiseptics — in warm water and apply to the area. After the wound has been cleaned, a topical application of goldenseal cream or tincture may provide antimicrobial benefits, while raw unprocessed honey is a natural antibacterial that can be applied to the wound afterward to help healing. Apply raw honey (many grocery-store honeys actually contain high-fructose corn syrup) to the affected area and cover with a clean bandage one to three times daily as needed.


Natural Remedies for Stomachaches and Indigestion

Rich, hearty and spicy foods can sometimes lead to indigestion. Try soothing an upset tummy with a refreshing cup of peppermint tea. Peppermint is a natural antispasmodic that relaxes the stomach muscles, helping food and painful digestive gas pass through the stomach more quickly. (Do not use peppermint if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease.) You may also find relief from taking enteric-coated peppermint capsules.


A study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics showed that a combination of 90 mg peppermint oil and 50 mg caraway oil in enteric-coated capsules had a relaxing effect on the gallbladder and may soothe the symptoms of indigestion. Another time-tested digestive remedy, ginger calms the intestines and increases the secretion of digestive bile. Drink ginger tea, snack on candied or fresh ginger (though don’t use the latter on an empty stomach), enjoy a glass of real ginger ale or take a ginger supplement to alleviate digestive problems.


Natural Remedies for Stress

Sometimes preparing a dinner party, a holiday event or even just putting together a weeknight dinner around busy family schedules can cause stress. Help your body and mind handle stress more easily with adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, astragalus, eleuthero and rhodiola. Look for adaptogens in single-plant tinctures or combinations of herbs. You can also use soothing herbs to relax the nervous system. Drink a cup of chamomile or valerian tea — both calming herbs — or breathe in the essential oil of lavender or rosemary. A Japanese study recently discovered that smelling these two oils reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Breathe in a couple of drops on a tissue or add a few drops to a homemade reed diffuser.


Grease Fires

Cooking causes more household fires than home heating, and unfortunately fires can strike without warning. In case a grease fire starts in a frying pan, keep a pan lid nearby to put out the flames. You can also douse small flames with baking soda, a versatile home staple that can neutralize odors and remove caked-on food from pots and pans. Baking soda contains carbon dioxide, which prevents the fire from consuming the oxygen it needs for fuel. Do not under any circumstances pour water on a grease fire — water dramatically encourages grease fires to spread.


Note: With any natural remedy, go easy at first to make sure your skin doesn’t have an adverse reaction. If a wound looks serious, consult a medical professional.


Excerpted from Mother Earth Living. To read more articles from Mother Earth Living, please visit or call (800) 340-5846 to subscribe. Copyright 2013 by Ogden Publications Inc.


In 1900, 40% of every dollar spent on food went to the farmer or rancher while the rest was split between inputs and distribution.  Now, 7 cents on the dollar goes to the producer and 73 cents goes just to distribution.


First Response Natural First Aid Spray-Hand Crafted

We offer many hand crafted essential oils for your first aid and bug-out kits along with homesteading and self reliance books.



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This week’s prize:  A LifePac Survival Kit (Mini-survival pack)

We’ll post the tip and the winner gets a prize!

Scroll to the bottom of the page to submit your tip…


Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?

A Shallow Planet Production