Episode-1678- Listener Calls for 11-19-15 — 35 Comments

  1. Dave Canterbury has videos on Budget Bush craft where he goes to a dollar store and spends $2o

  2. I actually did have some Black Berkey filters that gradually started separating and coming apart on me after only 3 months of use, despite the fact they were packed carefully and taken good care of while they were in use (and at least as far as I know the other members of my household didn’t abuse them). It was purchased in 2010 from Amazon, and unfortunately this was being used in Mongolia so I couldn’t return it. Interestingly enough though, a set of replacement Black Berkey filters (same type) we bought later in 2011 (just before our long trip overseas) ended up working just fine, and according to my brother-in-law as of last year they still appeared to be working fine without the issues the others filters experienced. That led me to think there may have been some flaw in the production for a period of time, but that’s just guesswork on my part.

    • Or since you moved to Mongolia with them, it is possible in that long hard move they were damaged.

      • Possible, though IMO unlikely since those were in the same hardsided suitcase as the 2nd set of filters and both were in the original packaging with plenty of padding (clothes) around them. But I can’t rule it out especially with how baggage is often handled.
        On a related note for those traveling with filters, My mother-in-law last year was given a lot of grief by the TSA idiots about the replacement filters in her carryon for her doulton filter, despite the fact they had not yet been removed from the original packaging and thus were clearly labelled. So pick your poison… TSA goons manhandling your filters or apathetic baggage handlers. At least hers show no sign of damage yet.

    • I had this same problem back in 2012 when I first got my Berkey. I ordered extra replacement filters with it and they also kept separating. I did some research on it and found there were issues with the glue that the manufacturer was using to keep the filter connected to the plastic. They recognized the problem and corrected it. I ordered more filters in 2014 and they have worked great. I think if you got filters in a certain window of time you were likely to get duds.

      • Okay that makes sense and it is a perfect example of why I always ask that people give the sponsor/supporter first crack at answering stuff like this. That is a window I happily missed I guess. Sort of like my reenlistment window!

  3. About 3 years ago I also had a set of new black Berky filters separate. I contacted the berkey guy, he had them replaced. Second set also failed within a month, contacted berkey guy…he replaced them as well. Apparently they had a string of bad product (glue). Third set worked.

    Was it a pain in the ass? Yes. But at the same time jeff made it right every time. That’s customer service.

    • Ditto the experience Joe & Dan O had. Sometime in late 2011 to early 2012 we went through 3 sets of filters that all separated as described above.

      Each time Jeff “the berkey guy” sent us a replacement, super quick, with amazing “no hassle” customer service. Explained the same flaw in a certain lot run of the product.

      We haven’t had a single issue with any part of our berkey system since then.
      I have no issue with giving a 100% positive endorsement of the berkey system and the Berkey guy.

      (seriously, don’t be the person who gets their system from the non-berkey guy!)

  4. i have a book that my prepping group has put things in about the dollar store prepping.

    one of the best items we found was the $1 solar light.
    take it apart and you can charge AA rechargeable battery’s.
    you can use it for a small flash light.
    a shoot marker in you yard. putting them every 20 yards as making spots for distence.
    cover with color paper for messages, or night lights.
    the tube can hold things like the old rambo knives
    it has a pike that can go thew metal dectors. it can be used in 100ways

    this little item is $1

    meds are good to stock up on from the $1 store.

    Rope and even some food times.

    ya you can bug for $20

  5. Noticing one thing about trying to start chickens now – most of the hatcheries only have a limited number of varieties available. And even craig’s list doesn’t have much right now.

    Thanks for a great show as always.

  6. @modern survival
    On the leaf vac idea. I highly recommend not getting one of the blower/vacs for this. They suck and not like you want them too. Get one of the walk behind vacs Billy goat is among the best but similar designs are pretty decent as well. The walk behinds will work best if the leaves are still scattered out and not raked up into a pile.

    • The Billy Goats cost over $1000. I can’t justify spending that to just get some leaves. Are there any other cheaper solutions for a walk behind solution?

      • Craftsman and Troy Bilt have similar models. For considerable less. Some of these also have a chute to chip small brush. Also as always check Craigslist for previously loved ones. I got my mom a Billy goat that I get her leaves with. As for others leaves I let them do all the work. I just toss their bags into the truck 😉

        • There are no lack of leaves here in WV. Just last night I picked up 30 bags from the neighbors and drove past about 50 more on the way to work.

  7. For the past several years my son (10) rakes and bags leaves and usually makes around $500. He has to turn away potential customers because of time – it usually takes a whole day for one yard (30 bags) unless he hires a couple buddies to help him. Does anyone have a cheap way to bag leaves using maybe a shop vac attachment or something that attaches to a trash can?

  8. For the question of taxes, if you don’t need exact numbers there’s a shortcut:
    total spending – increase in debt = taxes collected

    (This of course ignores the gorilla in the room: unfunded liabilities. But, IMO, like the ‘national debt’ they’re a distraction. If you can’t pay, you can’t pay.)

    Another bit of fun, government spending = 36% of GDP, with the fed sucking revenue away from state and local control (see blue area at bottom):

    The big question on the spending (IMO): What percentage was spent creating something of VALUE to the people? (example: roads)

    (again IMO) This is important because the rest is parasite extraction. Is the government 50% symbiotic (roads) and 50% parasitic (NSA)? (being generous probably… which is why we have ‘crumbling infrastructure’)

    What percentage is ‘investment for the future’ versus ‘current expenses’? If you’re going further into debt.. that kind of gives you a clue.

    • I don’t think people are getting it, that would be federal taxes, I want to know the number for ALL TAXES.


      Total theft by all forms of the state. Including license fees, permits, etc.

      • That’s why this formula may work better. Many things aren’t called ‘taxes’… but if you’re just looking at the spending – new debt, you know what was ‘collected’ regardless of what that’s being labeled.

        And you can do this for all levels, above graph is ALL levels of government.

        • Yea I get it but again it is only Federal and I actually think at this point combined state, local, county might exceed that.

        • According to the above linked website, ALL government spending was 38.32% of GDP for 2014 ($6,607.9 B).

          The INCREASE in debt (all levels) was $1,075.01 B

          Spending $6,607.9 B – New Debt $1,075.01 B = $5,532.89 B Collected in ‘taxes’

          looking at the debt clock, that’s the right ballpark.

          So, all levels:
          $5,532,890,000. ‘collected’

          …or 32% of GDP (2014)

          (not going to bet on this.. because this is a quick google search and calculating based on this one website… but based on other data sources, probably pretty close)

          So ‘the machinery’ consumes about 1/3 of all value created

        • So it almost seems like yea all county, state and local exceeds Fed but seperation is difficult too. Like what role SSI in and out plays there. Frankly we should just consider the debt tax too!

        • I don’t know if these numbers include things like ‘Civil Asset Forfeitures’.

          And I’m sure they don’t include CIA profits from gun running and drug sales. 😉

          Of course that $12.6B is CAF is ONLY 0.07% of GDP, but it would represent its own 0.2% of ‘taxes’ collected


          If you include debt as ‘future taxation’ then the % of GDP number = total tax percentage (38.32% for 2014)

  9. On the Health Insurance issue, aren’t there doctors out there bucking the system entirely, NOT insuring themselves and passing those savings on to uninsured patients via a waver of obligation and right to sue?

    Most people probably aren’t comfortable giving up that safety net, and these doctors are incredibly few and far between, but if I found one near me [who was taking patients] I’d certainly go for it.

  10. I’d go with an uninsured one any day too, since:
    1) they never really know what they are doing anyway,
    2) they end up asking me what I want to do since I just tell them what I want in the first place,
    3) and just need them to write the damn 6 month blood test order or referral for orthopedics or whatever.
    There are few doctors left, they are just formalities for us to manage our own “healthcare” in the stupid system of crappy “sick-don’t-care” (trademark: Perry, 2015). I totally agree with Jack in his comments on all this.

  11. On the health insuranace issue:

    One does have an option to opt out if their faith does not support having insurance. there are cost sharing options that satisfy the obamacare requirement and cost significantly less.

    I use Christian healthcare ministries(CHM), and pay $150 per month. There is a $500 deductible per incident. There are other plans which cost less. I have my husband on a $1000 deductible plan that is $85 per month.

    They do not cover preventative medical costs

    During my recent pregnancy, I went to my local hospital and told them I was a cash pay patient. the hospital gave me a 40% same day cash pay discount. CHM allowed me to apply that discount toward my deductible. CHM wrote me a check for the entire amount, so I ended up paying NOTHING for my medical expenses, and had complete control of who I ended up seeing. I chose a home birth with a midwife that the cost share paid for.

    Cost sharing is something that one might consider to make their health expenses more affordable.

  12. Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of more than $4.8 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.

    Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for year. Which is April 24 in 2015.

    If you include annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur 14 days later on May 8.

  13. Jack,

    You’re a vet. You can get better insurance through the VA and it’s potentially cheaper. In some instances based on people’s income it’s FREE. That’s the route I go and save about $325/month. I have 100% coverage with $20/co pays and $7/prescriptions.
    Hope it helps the people’s