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Saturday, February 28, 2015

An open letter to the political elite: Stop ruining our country or else...

An open letter to Congress & the White House…


Why are you ruining our country?


   I grew up as a child of the 1950s when our collective governments pretty much left citizens alone.  Taxes were reasonable and didn’t require computerized software or CPAs and most states and cities did not dip into our wallets.


During the past few generations, government has become a behemoth, smothering citizens with red tape and overregulation – often created by unelected bureaucrats without benefit of legislation!  In many areas a citizen cannot even build a dog house without government permission and fees.  We have more rules and regulations than we need and it is choking entrepreneurship and as a result, job growth.


Back then corporations bore the lion’s share of taxes.  They are no longer good corporate citizens and since the 1980s they off-shored US jobs and cut benefits to the bone.  I made more money in the 80s than most companies pay today.  The majority of middle class jobs with benefits are government jobs and the taxpayer supports these jobs despite not being able to enjoy the same benefits.


Americans are finding freedom of choice a vanishing option today as virtually every element of our lives are dictated by law…everything from how much water our toilet uses to our ineffective public school system where despite huge injections of tax dollars over the past 20 years, fewer children today can spell or have a working knowledge of our history.


Since passage of the so-called Patriot Act [perhaps the most obnoxious set of laws ever forced onto what was once a free people] we have seen our ability to travel freely diminished through checkpoints and passport requirements…the entire country got screwed because of 11 terrorists and it has created a monstrously TSA system which has never caught a single terrorist.  Great return on our investment.


Further, our right to privacy has been eliminated through this act and the mandatory use of a socialist slave number, oh, I mean social security number which has done more to boost white collar crime in terms of identity theft than anything else…thank you very much! 


Our entire financial house of cards nearly crashed in 2009 and taxpayers once again were tapped to bail out all your Wall Street buddies, yet no one is serving time in jail for these crimes.


The average American hasn’t had a real raise since 1972, yet inflation has eliminated 40% or more of spending power since 2005. 


Career politicians seem more a scourge to our nation than benefit.  I always laugh at how Mrs. Clinton snookered New Yorkers into ‘adopting’ her so she could continue her feeding at the public trough as a senator.  Frankly, most Americans I know of are TIRED of political families like the Clinton’s, the Bush’s, the Kennedy’s and so on who have dominated our system over the years.


Congress has done such a wonderful job managing our nation’s finances that they give themselves an automatic raise each year while maintaining gold plated benefits and perks that the rest of the nation could only dream about – NO wonder all of you work so hard on staying in one office or another.


From our President to most members of Congress, FEW have ever served a day in the military or have created jobs and been responsible for a payroll…many have never even held a job in their adult lives but sanctimoniously call their careers ‘public service.’  Few have provided any real service to citizens as they’re usually too busy rounding up cash donors so they may continue to feed at the public trough.


If it were possible to bring back our founding fathers, they would be screaming at us to get off our lazy butts and start another revolution…but as we all know, most people don’t have a clue why we had a revolution as everything the King had in place, our own government does now.


Hell, with the NSA, TSA, DHS, etc. in place our nation more closely resembles the old Soviet Union.  Have you checked out the Planks of the Communist Manifesto recently?

Watching the erosion of good government over the past half century has left me bitter and disillusioned.


We have too much government, too many laws and too many government employees.  Here are a couple of suggestions:


·        If you’ve been in government since the internet was created, please retire.

·        For every new law you create, get rid of two

·        Get rid of the Patriot Act – it has done zero to promote freedom


I know I speak for many when I say we’re tired of imperious, arrogant attitude the political elite display toward our populace…stop interfering with our freedom or we’ll be forced to storm the bastille!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Do You Have a 3 Month Emergency Fund? Fat Cats Grow Fatter at Your Expense

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
-- Dr. Seuss

States where the middle class is shrinking fastest

   Every time I look, my costs for anything government related go up…My property taxes are going up, postal rates will increase again in late April, our water bill is going up again, our health insurance premiums have already more than doubled via Obamacare.

Even my electric co-op tacked on another $50 annual fee citing higher wholesale energy prices…funny, I thought they went down!?

The only thing that didn’t go up is my income [that has decreased as fewer folks are buying what we sell at either online stores we operate] but it seems politicians and the people who feed off the system are making a killing off the American taxpayer – there are now more millionaires in Baltimore and near the DC beltway than anywhere else.

The American economy is by many measures well on the road to full recovery. The national unemployment rate was 6.2% in 2013, down from 9.3% in 2009; U.S. gross domestic product grew 5% in the third quarter of 2014; and the S&P 500 recently reached its all time high.

And yet the middle class, which historically was the driver of economic growth, is falling behind. The average income among middle-class families shrank by 4.3% between 2009 and 2013, while incomes among the wealthiest 20% of American households grew by 0.4%.

Based on average pre-tax income earned by the third quintile, or the middle 20% of earners in each state, middle-class incomes in California declined the most in the country. Incomes among middle-class Californian households fell by nearly 7% between 2009 and 2013, while income among the state’s fifth quintile, or the top 20% of state earners, grew by 1.3%.



Fat Cats Feeding at the Public Trough at Your Expense are doing Mighty Fine

Thanks to wildly out of control government spending, the Washington D.C. region is absolutely swimming in cash.  In fact, at this point the state of Maryland has the most millionaires per capita in the entire nation and it isn’t even close.  If you have never lived there, it is hard to describe what the D.C. area is like.  Every weekday morning, hordes of lawyers, lobbyists and government bureaucrats descend upon D.C. from the surrounding suburbs.  And at the end of the day, the process goes in reverse.  Everyone is just trying to get their piece of the pie, and it is a pie that just keeps on growing as government salaries, government contracts and government giveaways just get larger and larger.  Of course our founders never intended for this to happen.  They wanted a very small and simple federal government.  Sadly, today we have the most bloated central government in the history of the planet and it gets worse with each passing year…and your tax dollars are allowing these parasites to breed!


“Do you have 3 months emergency funds to cover expenses in case of sickness, job loss, or economic downturn?”

When the coming economic crisis strikes, more than half the country is going to be financially wiped out within weeks.  At this point, more than 60 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and a whopping 24 percent of the country has more credit card debt than emergency savings.  One of the primary principles that any of these “financial experts” that you see on television will teach you is to have a cushion to fall back on.  At the very least, you never know when unexpected expenses like major car repairs or medical bills will come along.  And in the event of a major economic collapse, if you do not have any financial cushion at all you will be at serious risk.


>24 percent of all Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings.

>That same survey discovered that an additional 13 percent of all Americans do not have any credit card debt, but they do not have a single penny of emergency savings either.

> At this point, approximately 62 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck

A different study discovered that less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.

Today, the average American household is carrying a grand total of 203,163 dollars of debt.

 It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the entire U.S. population owns any gold or silver for investment purposes.

 48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies in their homes whatsoever.

 53 percent of all Americans do not even have a minimum three day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.

Resources you can use to save money


No More Dryer Sheets

Tired of paying for dryer sheets? Try wadding up some aluminum foil and tossing it in the dryer. There will be no chemicals used, and you'll find no static cling either!




30 Clever Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last Longer

Hints from Heloise have morphed into what we call hacks today. Did you know that a stalk of celery can keep bread fresher longer? How about storing ice cream containers upside down to prevent freezer burn? Here are more clever hacks.


Looking for freebies? Don't Google "free stuff!" Instead, here are some organizations, bloggers, and services that specialize in finding or offering everything from merchandise to a place to stay for free.


Fireplace Cleanup a Breeze

With a brutal winter in place many have given their fireplace a workout which means it will need to be cleaned.  To sweep it out without getting ash everywhere, sprinkle damp used coffee grounds on the piles of ash inside the fireplace and sweep it out.


FREE to Our Readers!

How to Survive the…

War on Middle Class and All 10 Bonus Reports can be downloaded here:


Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


I support you so it would be nice to see you support our efforts!

            Books, Art, Video – the saucy, the odd, the retro, even the practical…

Gifts he’ll appreciate.

Monday, February 23, 2015

America in the Cyber Cross Hairs, Get Some Spring Cash, Free Resources

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


Bumper Sticker of the Week:

“Had all my soul removed to make room for my cynicism!”


America: In the Cybercrosshairs

In my last issue I wrote about how vulnerable we are personally and as a nation to cyber attacks from our government and from cyber crooks…

The United States’ Achilles’ heel is its dependence on computer technology.

Now, however, you can see the invisible battlefield of cyberattacks. Take a look at this real-time map:

Invented by Norse, IP Viking is the world’s first cyberrisk intelligence system able to monitor cyberattacks—in real time, anywhere on the planet—and then stop them within minutes. IP Viking uses “honeypots” to lure in attackers who then reveal information about themselves.

In merely five minutes, the website tallied 1,104 attacks on America. This averages to more than 85 percent of all cyberattacks being directed toward America. The map shows a constant stream of attacks on America coming from all around the globe. At present, the U.S. is preventing most of these attacks, but how long will its defenses be able to counter the barrage?


Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

I use white vinegar to clean greasy kitchen cabinets. I use two cups to a gallon of hot water. It is very thrifty as a gallon of white vinegar costs about $2. White vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner. It's also great for floors and windows.

Growing Cities

Award winning documentary on urban farming in America…download it on iTunes or buy a copy at

The film takes you through the lives of people challenging the way food is being grown in America, and they offer alternative ways to provide for yourself in the middle of a city.  You can even host a screening of the film in your city.

 A large percentage of us have willingly enslaved ourselves in order to acquire all of our stuff.

Today, the typical U.S. household that has at least one credit card has approximately $15,950 in credit card debt. Today, when you add up all mortgage debt, auto loans, all credit card debt and all student loan debt, the average American household is carrying a grand total of 203,163 dollars of debt.


Start Spring with a Little Extra Cash


Many places boost their hiring in the spring.  What skill sets can you bring to the table?  For example, if you’re an avid gardener, you could work at a retail garden center of local public garden.  Many museums and large cemeteries and parks [both state and national] need help with outdoor landscaping.


Temp agencies are good resources as fewer US corporations are willing to hire full time workers.  Online job sites, such as or can prove useful in your search.


If you have skills, such as bookkeeping and are comfortable with cloud-based software, list your services on free sites such as and which specialize in work for independent contractors and freelancers.


Create a profile and submit job proposals to potential clients.  You can also use your social network sites to post about the services you offer.  If you have a knack for social marketing, submit your resume to sites such as and or


If you’re lucky enough to have a supportive network of family, friends and colleagues, let them know what gigs you’re offering so they can spread the word too.


Our weekly roundup of resources to use & share









How to Survive the…

War on Middle Class and All 10 Bonus Reports can be downloaded here:



Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


            Books, Art, Video – the saucy, the odd, the retro, even the practical…

Gifts he’ll appreciate.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

All Preparedness is Local-Many, Many Resources You Can Use!

Poor Man Survival                                             

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


"A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring
one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own
pursuits of industry and improvement."

-- Thomas Jefferson


Something we no longer have!


Preparedness Is Local: 7 Simple Ways to Get Ready

A famous politician once said, "All politics is local." The same is essentially true for prepping. Let me show you how to get started on sizing up, and making arrangements for, your possible needs in an emergency.

In any social disruption or national crisis, you can expect diminished access to vital resources that come from national or large regional distribution systems – food, water, fuel, medicine. Whether it's a natural disaster, a terror attack, or social chaos, your access to key resources will become severely limited or cut off completely.

When that happens, you end up totally reliant on local resources.

Savvy preppers know it's important to get a feel for what's available locally before there's a disruption. Where does local food come from? What do you know about your local water supply? What resources exist nearby that you can use now to make you more prepared later?

Training Resources
You Should Take Advantage Of

SUGGESTION ONE: Your local Red Cross offers a number of low-fee workshops – some are even free. One of the classes many Red Cross branches offer is an Individual Preparedness Skills Workshop.

This workshop teaches basic skills intended to help you be self-reliant for an extended period of time. You'll learn basic preparedness, emergency response, and recovery skills that you can share with your family, neighbors, and colleagues and that you can fall back on in any number of difficult situations. While the workshop is truly basic, it gives you a framework you can build on for more advanced and personalized prepping. I would highly advise you get friends, neighbors, and family members to attend with you so you aren't shouldering the load alone.


Preparedness Contest…although none of you ever entered ANY of the contests we held through the years, I thought we’d share this one with you.


Secure communication for preppers »
Have you ever considered how you would communicate covertly and/or securely if the need were to arise? It could be for a number of reasons; maybe you simply don’t want someone to know what you are talking about or maybe it is more serious and electronic communications are not functioning because of an EMPMore »

Bio-gas from what? Yes, that’s right, human poop!
Human waste is often sieved, dried and used as manure in countryside locales, but in an increasing number of urban environments it’s now contributing to the local power grid.

Finding water in an emergency
You’ve done everything right. You set up a food storage system. You stored enough drinking water to last your household for a month. But what if something unexpected happens? What if your drinking water is contaminated? Or spilled? Or stolen? You and your family can’t live without clean water. So what do you do?

Preventing Septic Problems


Charcoal Powered Generator

 Ask any farmer, survival expert, Boy Scout, hippie or prepper and they will tell you the awesome uses for charcoal- from improving your garden to filtering water and field medicine. But did you know with a few scrap parts you can run an unmodified internal combustion engine?



The Weekly Roundup of Useful Stuff


How to Find Truly Free Tax Software: You'd think "free" wouldn't be complicated. In the world of tax software, it is. This article published on Forbes covers what you need to know.

  • The Disease of Being Busy (On Being):  "How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?"

  • The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment (Gallup): "There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie."





Yours for better living,

Bruce, the Poor Man

Support our efforts-Make a purchase

Books, Art, Video – the saucy, the odd, the retro, even the practical…

Gifts he’ll appreciate.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Protecting Yourself From Cyber Thieves and Government Snooping

Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…
ISSN 2161-5543
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
PM Predicts Wars Will Focus More on Civilians and Cyber Invasions- How to Protect Yourself from Cyberspies and your government



A destructive “Trojan Horse” malware program has penetrated the software that runs much of the nation’s critical infrastructure and it's poised to cause an economic catastrophe, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

They're saying that the malware was put in by hackers thought to be sponsored by the Russian government. It’s a very serious threat to our vulnerable infrastructure.

It’s worth noting that the recent hacker attack on Anthem, the health insurance company, is widely believed to have been conducted by the Chinese government.

 As hackers continue to tap into complex security systems, however, some cybersecurity experts are advising companies to focus on tricking or neutralizing hackers once they have infiltrated networks, rather than spending money only on trying to keep them out.


Information security job outlook 2012-2022 -30% higher than the national average

International cyber warfare is very much upon us
.  However, few citizens seem concerned despite multiple data breaches of retail databases.  Ironically, no one violates your privacy more than our own government...they maintain an average of 40 data files now on every American adult.

The president announced some nonsensical solutions this week…he is rightfully concerned about protecting the country from cyber attacks and large-scale hacking, but his ‘fix’ may be worse than the problem.  He could start by honoring the Privacy Act of 1974, something the government gutted with the so-called Patriot Act.  [Friday's post will address that piece of privacy raping 'law'].

His new executive order permits any information shared by companies to be passed along to federal agencies including the NSA and FBI. 

Do Americans need or want even more government involved in our lives or should we leave corporate cyber security up to the corporations?

Massive corporate cyber security fails. From Sony to Anthem, this is the age of the data breach. How much is this costing us?

According to a recent industry report, guesstimates are that the global cost of cyber crime to businesses range from around $445 billion to $2 trillion annually.

The FTC appears most concerned with security and privacy risks to consumers. The Report identifies several key risks, which it recognizes exist with traditional computers as well:

>unauthorized access and misuse of personal information and sensitive personal information, including precise geolocation, financial account numbers or health information (and the concern that this information could be used for credit, insurance, and employment decisions);   >attacks on other systems;

> safety risks, including where someone is able to break in and control a device such as an automobile or a pacemaker.

The FTC also raises the concern that collection of certain information (e.g. personal information, habits, locations, and physical conditions) may allow an entity to infer sensitive information that the consumer has not provided directly.

The FTC highlighted three primary compliance issues:

More here:



Temporary credit card numbers safeguard cyber-shoppers

US banks will eventually provide consumers with tamper proof cards as in Europe…

Temporary credit cards numbers are specially generated limited-use numbers designed to protect your real credit card number when shopping online.

Also known as virtual account numbers or single-use cards, they have spending limits and short life spans, so even if a hacker or shady online merchant tries to reuse the numbers, they're invalid after, say, one day or $50, depending on how the number is set up.


In Wake of Anthem Breach, What to Do

With millions of records potentially breached at Anthem, what kind of damage can the crooks do and what can you do about it? Here’s the story.


The NSA can read your emails without a warrant. They extensively monitor all of your email activity. See our easy solutions to keep your emails private.


  1. Keep The NSA Out Of Your Internet – Avoid Unwarranted NSA Surveillance
  2. Set Up Free Email Encryption In 15 Minutes
  3. Easy Email Encryption


Don’t let thieves snatch your tax refund

It’s tax season, so identity thieves are gearing up to use your information in a different kind of way: to file a false tax return and get a tax refund in your name. Here’s how to protect yourself.


Finally, as I have warned readers for years:  DO NOT FILE YOUR TAXES ELECTRONICALLY!  Each year the number of fraudulent filings increases and the IRS is helpless and you will wait for more months or longer to ever get a refund!


Also, I’ve been telling readers this for years also:  those smart phones are open doors to your privacy which is why thieves and law enforcement like them so much.  With GPS tracking chips, snoops can even tell where you took your photo and these phones are mighty easy to hack.

 Sources:  Poor Man Survival, FBI, DHS, Detroit Free Press, Consumer Reports

 Resources you might want to use in your privacy protection battle...




Ultimate Privacy Guide/161-pages:Free



Yours for better living…while you still can!

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’