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Friday, February 18, 2011

Emergency power backup on the cheap

With the recent outbreak of good weather it is time I catch up on some things on my list to get done.With Hurricane season a few months away I decided to put together my poor mans battery backup.It's nothing fancy but will suit the purpose of keeping my chest freezer running as well as a few lights, tv & laptop. I started with a old plastic container with a hinged lid, mounted a piece of plywood inside for strength & a place to mount the inverter.
I bought a 1500 watt inverter from Sam's a few years ago that I used once for a
hurricane emergency backup ,I think I paid about 75 bucks for it.

I was fortunate enough to get 2- 12 volt batteries that came out of a commercial alarm system from a Buddy that works in that business.(Thanks Nate) They are rated at 75amp hours each.

A trip to harbor freight to get some additional terminals to tie in the batteries and a power strip mounted on the outside for easy access & it's done.And less than a hundred bucks so far.

I hooked up the shed to test it out and all appears well.Sometime in the future I will drag it in the house and test the run time with the freezer and some lights hooked up.

I have been having a coupon for $100 off on the 45watt solar panel setup At Harbor Frieght so I picked up a set.

Next I have to decide if I want to assemble and mount the solar panels. so far I have still spent less than $250. I think I'll wait because I have another coupon for 90 bucks off another set of panels and I will just have to remount the array of panels again.
I also was thinking to just keep the batteries on trickle charge and leave the panels boxed up.Since I want to mainly use this for emergency backup I don't want them damaged in a storm.
Also if I do decide to mount them I will want the panels on some kind of mount that tracks the sun for max charge time.So I guess I still have some tweaking to do but if something comes up I still have options if the generator fails, but isn't that what prepping is all about,being prepared.......

Prep on all......................................................

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Monday, February 14, 2011

10 Reasons Why It Has Become So Soul-Crushingly Difficult To Find A Job In America Today

From a link on survival blog

Have you been unemployed lately? If so, then you probably know how frustrating it is to try to find a job in the United States today. It now takes the average unemployed worker about 33 weeks to find a job. There are millions of Americans that have not been able to find a full-time job even after searching hard for an entire year. Some areas of the United States have been devastated so badly by the economic downturn that they are starting to resemble war zones. Unless you have been there, it is hard to even try to describe the extreme frustration that one feels when you are unable to pay the mortgage and feed your family. It can be absolutely soul-crushing. But it is not the fault of those who are unemployed. The truth is that our economy is dying and it is not producing nearly enough jobs anymore. Unfortunately, as you will see from the facts listed below, most of the things that are causing our economy to die have no realistic chance of being changed any time soon.

The following are 10 reasons why it has become so insanely difficult to find a job in America today....

#1 There are a lot fewer job openings in the United States today. The number of U.S. job openings declined once again in December. Prior to the most recent economic downturn, there were usually somewhere around 4.5 to 5 million job openings in America. Today there are about 3 million.

#2 There is a lot more competition for the very few job openings that are actually available. According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent for over a year. When Gallup includes "underemployed Americans" that have part-time jobs but really want full-time jobs in the numbers, they get a lot worse. Currently, Gallup says that 19.3 percent of the workforce is either unemployed or underemployed.

#3 The U.S. economy is producing an extremely low number of new jobs. The federal government says that only about 36,000 jobs were added in January. Well, an increase of 150,000 jobs per month is necessary just to keep up with population growth. We continue to fall farther and farther behind.

#4 All across the nation, state and local governments are rapidly cutting jobs. Government jobs used to be considered some of the safest jobs available, but today state and local governments all across America are facing horrific budget crunches. In fact, things have gotten so extreme that some cities are cutting their police forces by up to 50 percent.

#5 U.S. businesses are being absolutely crushed by regulations, and yet the government just keeps piling them on. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is projecting that the food service industry will have to spend an additional 14 million hours every single year just to comply with new federal regulations that mandate that all vending machine operators and chain restaurants must label all products that they sell with a calorie count in a location visible to the consumer. These kinds of ridiculous regulations are chasing U.S. businesses out of the country at a blistering pace.

#6 When you combine all forms of taxation, businesses pay more taxes in the United States than just about anywhere else in the world. Some of the biggest corporations have figured out how to get around this, but many other businesses are being absolutely crushed by this. All of this taxation is also chasing businesses out of the country. Now Barack Obama is at it again. He has just proposed an increase in unemployment taxes. This is going to make it even less likely that businesses will want to hire more employees.

#7 Advances in technology mean that less workers are needed today. A robot can do the labor that a hundred workers used to perform. A computer can do the work that a thousand people used to perform. Our society now needs less manual labor than it used to, and that is not going to change. In fact, our society is only going to become more computerized and more automated. That means that the ultra-wealthy do not need as many of us to work for them.

#8 Nations such as China are taking jobs away from us. Tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs are moving to China. There is a reason why Barack Obama mentioned China four times during his State of the Union address. China now even makes more beer than the United States does. China has been very shrewd. They have invited international corporations to come over and take advantage of their vast population by paying them slave labor wages. The U.S. middle class is being shredded by this. Why should companies pay U.S. workers 10 or 20 times more than they could pay a Chinese worker?

#9 Every single year, the U.S. buys hundreds of billions of dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us. This is called a trade deficit, and it is killing the U.S. economy. The hundreds of billions of dollars going to the rest of the world could be going to U.S. businesses, and in turn U.S. businesses would need more workers. But instead of fixing our trade balance problem, our politicians continue to insist that "globalism" is going to be really, really "good" for us.

#10 Every single year the U.S. federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars just on interest on the national debt. This is money that we don't get any economic benefit from. If we were not in so much debt, the U.S. government would be able to spend that money on goods and services inside the United States and that would support a lot more jobs. This is just one of the ways that our horrific national debt is a tremendous drag on our economy.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Treason: Obama Shuts Down Power Plants Coast to Coast

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BP oil spill's health effects will be felt for generations, scientist warns

I read this in Times Picayune this weekend and the future looks bleak for us.Get right with your maker cause I fear their isn't much time left.Check out the article below:

Months after diving in Gulf waters fouled by BP crude oil and the oil dispersant Corexit, a man in his 40s has more than five times the normal amount of ethylbenzene in his blood.

The bloodstream of a 3-year-old, exposed to the oil spill when his family visited the Gulf Coast, contains at least three times the normal level of the same organic hydrocarbon, which is toxic in certain quantities.

Such numbers, according to Wilma Subra, a New Iberia biochemist and environmental activist, are increasingly common in a region that continues to grapple with the consequences of the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

And, Subra said Saturday at a forum in New Orleans, they are just one indication that the human health effects of the spill are greater -- and will linger far longer -- than either the oil industry or the U.S. government has acknowledged.

"The effects will be felt for generations," she said, ticking off a wide range of symptoms she said result from exposure to crude oil and Corexit. "This is what we have to look forward to."

Speaking to a receptive audience at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Uptown, Subra presented data from toxicity tests conducted on humans, Gulf Coast soil and sea life in recent months.

The blood tests were performed on people of varying ages, gender and exposure levels. All of the individuals tested displayed some physical symptoms typical of exposure to crude oil or Corexit, Subra said. Immediate symptoms include skin irritation, nausea, headaches and vomiting. Longer-term maladies can include liver and kidney damage, cardiac arrhythmia and chronic respiratory problems. Benzene also is a cancer-causing agent.

Test results consistently showed elevated levels of chemicals -- among them benzene, ethylbenzene and Xylene -- that are found in either crude, dispersant or both, she said. Results were similar on oysters and other Gulf seafood.

Among soil samples taken in four states, 60 percent showed dangerously elevated levels of petroleum hydrocarbons when compared with normal marine sediment screenings, Subra said.

That, she said, suggests that human and wildlife exposure will continue even after government and industry declare the spill cleaned up.

Subra, who does research for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, offered a scathing indictment of the way authorities, both public and private, have handled public health issues since the spill.

She said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, at several points during the oil cleanup last year, issued statements of concern and revised training requirements and safety standards for BP's cleanup workers and volunteers. She said those standards, including the use of biohazard gear, were inadequate and inconsistently enforced, as well as coming after many workers and Gulf Coast residents already were exposed.

Subra said the Food and Drug Administration declared in September that Gulf seafood was free from contaminants, but later modified its statement to state only that the level of toxins found was below levels of danger set by the agency. The problem, Subra said, was the methodology used to set the toxicity threshold. "They said a normal seafood diet would be four jumbo shrimp a week," she said. "How many of you, when you eat jumbo shrimp, only eat four?"

A division of the National Institutes of Health has started a program to track the long-term health effects of the spill. According to an online description, the study began with telephone interviews with more than 55,000 people -- Gulf Coast residents, Coast Guard and National Guard members -- who were involved in the cleanup. The long-term tracking will focus on about 25,000 of them.

Subra said the study, financed in part with $10 million from BP, is fundamentally flawed because it doesn't include the broader Gulf Coast population and, more important, doesn't offer care to those being studied.

Several area residents who attended the forum echoed another of Subra's concerns: Many physicians along the Gulf Coast are reluctant to link their patients' problems to the oil spill or don't have the expertise in environmental medicine to make the connection.

President Barack Obama's National Oil Spill Commission recommended in January that the Environmental Protection Agency establish a more thorough protocol to monitor health effects of major spills.

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